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Proper Glove Procedures for EMS Workers

Melanie Predolich EMT Glove Protection PPE Workplace Safety

In the medical field, particular with EMS workers, there are particular safety procedures when it comes to using gloves. It is important to assess the risk levels that exist in you specific environment, and that will help you determine the type of gloves that will be most suitable for your environment. You should take into consideration the types of substances and chemicals and other hazards you may be coming into contact with, because each glove has its own resistance level to these particular hazards.
 
Even with proper research into an appropriate glove, one single glove may not offer the protection you need. In such cases, you may even need to wear two different types of gloves together, combining each of their strengths. For example, butyl rubber gloves are some of the best to withstand harsh and toxic chemicals while another type of foil based glove will protect against more common industrial chemicals. In order to provide the widest range of protection to a group of people who could come into contact with virtually any substance, wearing a double layer of a butyl rubber and foil based glove could be the best solution.
 
Aside from glove material, glove thickness also comes into play. Depending on what specific tasks and care procedures that EMS workers are performing, they may need to maximize their dexterity. In this case, even with a double layer of gloves, it may be worth it to lessen protection to maximize dexterity in order to complete the task correctly. In general, a 14 mil glove is recommended for EMS workers. But keep in mind that they still will need to be changed frequently in the case of punctures or contamination.
 
When it comes to actually using gloves, it is vital to have proper use of gloves in order to minimize potential spread of disease and other contaminates. EMS workers should always put on a fresh pair of gloves when beginning a new task, or interaction with a patient. They should then remove those gloves once the task is completed, before moving on to something else, in order to stop the spread of any germs or contaminates they may have encountered in the first task. This is best practice for all EMS workers.
 
All in all, EMS workers should do research ahead of time to determine the appropriate type of glove, or glove combination that will offer adequate protection and dexterity for their circumstance. And, they must remember to use glove properly, using a new pair for every task, and then removing those gloves after they have completed that task.


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