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Glove Removal

Video 11 of 15
4 minutes
English, Español
English, Español
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Okay, so it's important to understand the proper donning and removal of the personal protective equipment. In this case: gloves. Our gloves are our next line of skin to help prevent any type of contamination into cuts, scrapes. You know, the hands are so easily abraised. Hang nails, paper cuts, ways to actually get through that layer of skin, and that's why it's so important to have medical grade gloves. In this case, they're nitrile. This is really becoming more and more the common because of so many latex allergies, and so we're using nitrile today. When it comes to putting these on, you know, some of this is kind of common sense. But when I was in EMS school, you know, these guys would stick together sometimes, and so we would kind of blow them up a little bit. Not appropriate. We're not putting our mouths even to supposed clean gloves. We also don't want to get germs on the gloves. So we're not blowing them up. You know, now they're kind of powdered or they have some kind of coating on there, and they're a lot better for getting them on. If your hands are real wet or sweaty, dry them off appropriately and the gloves will go on a lot better. You can also make sure that you've got the appropriate size, and for employers it's important to get the appropriate size for your employees. If they have extra extra large hands, you need to get a box of extra extra large gloves. You know, giving them a one-size-fits-all, and then they rip every time they put 'em on, is not appropriate. So we're just gonna put these clean gloves on, the normal way. We're gonna inspect the gloves to make sure there's no cuts, no holes, nothing obvious that's going to ruin the integrity of this barrier. But then, when they're contaminated, now comes the most important part of this next skill, and that's removal of contaminated or potentially contaminated gloves. We're gonna follow the glove on glove, skin on skin rule. In this process, it's important that we keep the contaminated materials on the glove, and the non-contaminated to our skin side. But when we remove these gloves we want to make sure that we're not accidentally snapping or popping the glove, which could run the risk of then nebulizing or spraying the blood on other surfaces or into other colleagues eyes. So here we go. Glove on glove, I grab normally around the palm of my hand and I pull out to break the seal. I just slowly start to work my hand out of that glove while I wad that glove up into the hand. There's a couple thoughts there. Some people, some educators are a little more picky about not rolling this any more than you have to. I like to, at least, grab it, and I'm not squeezing it, but I like to grab it so that it's in the palm of my other hand. And here's why. Now when I do the skin on skin removal, look-it. When I remove that, it encapsulates the waste. If I've got a bloody gauze in my hand, that's now two gloves in, and it's rolled into the inside pocket. Now I use, ideally, a hand less waste can. Make sure that you have the appropriate container or the appropriate liner per your regulations. And then into the appropriate trash it goes, and we're all set. After this, make sure we go and appropriately wash our hands or use rubbing alcohol as indicated.

Your gloves are your first line of defense against bloodborne pathogens and other potentially infectious materials when cleaning up and disinfecting a scene. In this lesson, we'll show you the exact procedure of how to properly and safely remove them.

You don't want blood and other bodily fluids to touch your skin, but you especially don't if you have cuts, scrapes, abrasions, or other openings in the skin. Even hangnails could pose a problem and provide an opening for a foreign invader to enter.

Remember, not all gloves are created equally. Always use medical-grade gloves when cleaning bloodborne pathogens and OPIM. While the term industrial-grade sounds strong and safe, this isn't always the case, as industrial grade gloves tend to have larger pores than medical-grade gloves, which may not keep all the bad stuff out.

Ideally, you'll have nitrile gloves. As latex allergies are becoming more common, nitrile gloves provide a better option for many people.

Pro Tip #1: While putting on your gloves may sound like common sense and something not requiring instruction, there are three important points to note:

  1. Gloves will sometimes stick together, and this may make getting them on more difficult than it should be. (Though most gloves now have a coating or powder on them to prevent this.) Which is why you may have seen someone blow a puff of air into the wrist to make squeezing a hand in easier. This is not appropriate when it comes to infectious materials cleanup, even with clean gloves. Also, you don't want to spread any germs you may have onto the clean gloves.
  2. Size matters. Gloves come in many sizes. If your employer has only small or medium size gloves and you're a 300-pound man with sausage fingers, good luck. And do you know what happens when you try and squeeze an extra-large hand into a small glove? Well, let's just say it'll look like your hand is wearing a halter top, and your protection will go bye-bye. So, make sure your employer has your glove size in stock. Because one size rarely fits all.
  3. Inspect the gloves for defects, like holes, rips, or cuts. Just like our halter top gloves scenario above, if your gloves have any type of hole, you're not getting that protective barrier you need to stay safe, and you could wind up spreading a pathogen rather than containing and cleaning it up. Safety first, always.

Remember, when handling or cleaning up infectious materials and bloodborne pathogens, your goal is to create barriers. These barriers will halt the spread of infection. When it comes to gloves, they're like having an additional protective layer of skin.

How to Remove Contaminated Gloves

If you've seen the video lesson that corresponds with this written version, you may have noticed that glove removal is not a normal process for most people and one that may require a bit of practice to perfect. And since perfection equals being disease and infection-free, practicing taking off your contaminated gloves may not be the worst idea.

Pro Tip #2: Keep in mind your goal as it pertains to glove removal – keeping the contaminated materials on one side and your skin on the other. The two sides should always remain separate.

To this end, the glove removal process is as follows:

  • Pinch the palm side of one glove on the outside near your wrist. (Glove on glove contact only.)
  • Pull the glove slowly and carefully toward your fingertips, turning it inside out as you pull it off your hand.
  • Wad up the dirty glove into the palm of your still-gloved hand.

Pro Tip #3: You want to completely wad the glove up into that hand so the other glove can easily pass over your fist and not catch on any of the material from the first glove. However, you don't want to squeeze so hard that infectious material comes oozing out.

  • Carefully slip two fingers under the wrist of the other glove. Avoid touching the outside of the glove. (Skin on skin contact only.)
  • Pull the glove slowly and carefully toward your fingertips, turning it inside out as you pull it off your hand. The other glove is now contained inside.

By now, you should be holding the inside lining of one glove with the other glove trapped deep down inside. You can also do this with a bloody gauze pad or contaminated paper towel in one of your gloved hands, as all items will wind up at the bottom of the first glove removed.

Warning: When removing your gloves, it's important that you don't snap the glove material, so make sure you have a good grip and work slowly and carefully. Snapping the glove's materials could send pathogens and infectious materials flying – into eyes and other mucous membranes or onto clean surfaces.

  • Toss both gloves into the trash along with other PPE. Ideally, you'll have access to a trash receptacle that you can open using a foot pedal. And make sure the liner is appropriate for handling bloodborne pathogens and other potentially infectious materials per your regulations.
  • And finally, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and running water, if available. Otherwise, rub your hands thoroughly with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if they are not visibly soiled and then wash your hands as soon as it is practical.