Protective Gear

cna with protective gloves, mask and apronPersonal protective equipment or PPE is the equipment that nursing assistants use to avoid exposure to microorganisms and thereby prevent infection. This equipment includes:

Gloves: Gloves protect the hands by providing a barrier against fluids and blood when caring for patients.

Masks: Pathogens can spread through the respiratory system – the nose and mouth. Respiratory masks have a tight seal that covers the mouth and nose. These are especially useful to protect the nasal and oral mucous membranes against airborne organisms such as the tuberculosis bacillus.

Goggles: Face shields such as goggles can protect fluids from entering the eyes when there is splashing of fluids. Goggles protect the germs from entering the mucous membranes.

Gowns and Aprons: Gowns and aprons protect the inner clothing from getting contaminated. They are usually used during a surgery to protect the nursing assistant from infectious secretions such as wound drainage or discharges from the body.

Head and Shoe Covering: Headcovers protect the nursing assistants from sprays and airborne organisms. Similarly, shoe covers provide protection from airborne organisms and are used as a part of full barrier protection.

There are special procedures for donning PPE and removing the equipment after use. The gown, gloves and other equipment should be worn in such a way that it is not contaminated. After use, the equipment should be disposed of in proper waste containers marked for cytotoxic PPE.