Do you know there are around 165,000 healthcare-associated infections (HIAIs) in Australian Health Facilities each year? Yes! According to the Clinical Excellence Commission, “HIAIs accounts for 2 million hospital stays in Australia and affects many health care workers as well.” Patients, Visitors, and health care professionals all play a significant role in HIAIs. However, effective infection prevention and control measures are the keys to providing high-quality health care for patients and a safe working environment for those who work in health care settings.
Gloves are an essential tool for health care workers to avoid the spread of health care-associated infections,. By wearing the right gloves, you could protect yourself, colleagues, and the patients from the infection.
Let’s take a look at how gloves help fight against HIAIs:-
Protection against Pathogens, Microbes, and Bodily Fluids
Anyone who works in a health care setting will come across many types of germs, pathogens, bodily fluids, hazardous materials, and can be exposed to other potential factors. Although not all patients may seem sick, there is a possibility of a person with exposed mucous membranes, broken skin, or accidental exposure to fluids. On the other hand, health care workers themselves may have a disease. For these reasons, it is important that all health care workers must wear gloves.
Gloves are a type of personal protective equipment that creates a barrier between germs and hands. Although hand washing or hand dis-infection remains the simplest and effective measure for preventing HIAIs, wearing latex gloves/ Nitrile gloves is the best way to lessen your chance of exposing yourself to the germs, pathogens, and bodily fluids that can make you sick.
Protection against Needles and Other Sharp Objects
Hospital workers risk coming into contact with needles and other hazardous equipment. Gloves do help protect against things like broken needles, glasses, equipment, all of which major cause of injury and spread blood-borne infections. Nitrile gloves are the best way to keep medical professionals safe from injury and cross-contamination.
Protection against Hazardous Chemicals
Wearing gloves not only protect you against the spread of disease, but also from the chemicals used in laboratory, chemotherapy, radiation treatment, and etc. Chemicals used in a healthcare setting are dangerous, which results in side effects of the exposure to particular chemicals.
Choose the Right Gloves
Gloves come in different types of materials and shapes. So, it is essential to choose the right gloves. Choosing the right gloves for the right task and the level of protection you need are the keys to prevent infections. The following are the commonly used gloves in medical settings:-
Nitrile gloves – Nitrile gloves are a good all-round medical glove that provides high barrier protection and chemical and puncture resistant. It is recommended for a range of uses, including chemotherapy, cleaning, patient care, and bodily fluids.
Latex Gloves – Latex gloves are highly durable and flexible, providing mid-range barrier protection. It is recommended for patient care, cleaning, and food care but not for radiation and chemotherapy.
Vinyl Gloves – Vinyl gloves are made from polyvinyl chloride and provide standard barrier protection.
As you see, by instilling the proper education about the use of gloves, HIAIs can be minimised and avoided.