the ultimate guide to Wearing gloves in the healthcare environment

A glove is a covering for the hand worn for protection against Infections and typically having separate parts for each finger and the thumb.


Guide to wearing gloves

Below are the various types of gloves encountered in the healthcare setting.

  1.  Sterile gloves: Indicated for executing any sterile procedure including but not limited to vagina delivery, invasive radiological procedure, central vascular device dressing change and accessing implanted central venous access ports.
  2.  Non-sterile gloves: (Eg. Nitrite, latex, medical vinyl) indicated in situations when there is potential for contact with infectious material such as blood, other body fluids, micrograms.
  3.  Non-medical gloves: (eg.vinyl) may be used for food handling and some housekeeping procedures such as cleaning and disinfection.
  4.  Utility gloves: (eg. Facility, maintenance, central sterile processing) used for manual cleaning of instruments and decontamination with harsh chemicals.

The following should be taken into consideration when using gloves in the healthcare environment.

  1.  Wear gloves to curtail the risk of contamination or susceptibility to blood, other body fluids, hazardous materials and transmission of infection.
  2. Clean hands before putting on gloves for a sterile procedure such as insertion of a catheter or another invasive device.
  3.  Clean hands after removing gloves
  4.  Clean hands and change gloves between each task. (Eg. After contact with a contaminated surface/ environment.
  5.  Make sure that gloves fit you properly before performing any task.
  6.  Ensure the correct type of glove is available if you have skin sensitivity or allergy issues.
  7.  Wear gloves in the hemodialysis setting for any contact with the patient or patient equipment.
  8.  Follow your facility’s policy on glove use and remember to consult CDC and WHO hand hygiene guidance.


  1.  Don’t reuse or wash gloves (except for utility gloves after being properly cleaned.
  2.  Don’t substitute glove use for hand hygiene.
  3. Don’t use non-approved hand lotions.
  4.  Don’t use gloves if they are damaged or visibly soiled.
  5.  Don’t touch your face when wearing gloves.
  6.  Don’t wear the same pair of gloves from one patient to another.
  7.  Don’t wear gloves in the hall; consult your facility policy for exceptions.
  8.  Don’t forget to remove and dispose of gloves properly.


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