Just as there are correct ways to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), such as face masks, goggles, and isolation gowns, there are correct ways to remove such items. And while there are several acceptable ways to remove PPE in the right order, the core steps remain the same.
What is PPE?
Personal protective equipment, or PPE, is apparel that is worn to protect the wearer’s skin, mouth, nose, and/or eyes against harmful bacterial or viral infections. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, PPE was most commonly worn in healthcare settings, such as hospitals, or by caregivers providing in-home care. However, since the beginning of the pandemic, PPE such as face masks has become widely used, as it is an effective way to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus.
PPE include face masks, which cover the nose and mouth and can be made from single-use microplastics or reusable fabrics such as polyester or cotton; face shields, which are made from clear plastic and cover the entire face; isolation gowns, which cover the entire body and can be made of disposable or reusable, washable materials; and surgical caps, which cover the head and hold in the hair. MIP Cares provides high quality, reliable PPE, including reusable isolation gowns, and surgical caps that keep healthcare workers and home care providers safe while ensuring their comfort.
How To Use PPE Effectively
The effective use of PPE is key to ensuring the wearer is kept safe and fully protected.
Face masks should be worn over the nose and under the chin, and secured tightly around the ears; gowns should be tied securely and should cover as much as the wearer’s clothing and body as possible, and surgical caps should be pulled down just below the hairline. Individuals who wear PPE may wish to have a second individual or healthcare worker present to ensure they are being put on and taken off correctly and effectively, and should exercise strict hand hygiene at all times.
Recommended Steps For Taking Off PPE
1. Remove Gloves
When removing gloves, it is important to ensure that the wearer’s hands are not contaminated. Consider using the glove-in-glove technique for the highest level of protection.
2. Remove Isolation Gown
The MIP Cares Reusable Isolation Gown has a wraparound design, and ties up on the side. These ties should be untied in a gentle manner, and the gown should then be removed by pulling the gown down by the shoulders, and away from the body. The gown can also be rolled down. Immediately place the gown in the correct laundry receptacle.
3. Perform Hand Hygiene
After removing your gloves and gown, wash and/or sanitize your hands thoroughly.
4. Remove Face Shield Or Goggles
If you are wearing a face shield or goggles, remove the face shield or goggles by grabbing the strap, then pulling the shield or goggles upwards and away from your head. It’s important to avoid touching the front of the face shield or goggles.
5. Remove Face Mask or Respirator
If you are wearing a face mask or respirator, do not touch the front of either item. Take the time to unhook any straps that are around your ears, and pull the mask forward and away from your face. Place it immediately in the appropriate laundry receptacle. If you are wearing a respirator, remove the bottom strap and bring it carefully over your head. Then, grab the top strap, bring it over your head, then pull the respirator away from your face.
6. Perform Hand Hygiene Once Again
Once you have finished removing your PPE, wash and/or sanitize your hands thoroughly.
Note: if your hands are contaminated at any point in the process, by touching the front of a face mask or respirator, for instance, immediately perform hand hygiene before continuing to remove your PPE.