Use of Aprons and Gloves as an Infection Control Strategy – Health System Example

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"Use of Aprons and Gloves as an Infection Control Strategy" is a perfect example of a paper on the health systems. Personal Protective Equipment also referred to as PPE, is widely used throughout the world for the purpose of protecting both the medical staff as well as the patients from the hazards of contamination. The PPE structure consists of items like aprons, gloves, goggles, visors, and masks (Royal College of Nursing, 2012). Among this equipment, aprons and gloves are considered to be the crucial part of the personal protection framework, since the middle of the 80s.

Today this equipment has become an inevitable part of the medical domain. It is believed by experts that gloves are vital equipment for safeguarding hands from infection with microorganisms and organic stuff, and for diminishing the chances of contamination of microorganisms to the staff and patients (Department of Health & Human Services Tasmanian Infection Prevention & Control Unit, 2010). Gloves are also needed for making contact with some hazardous pharmaceuticals and perilous chemicals, for instance, cytotoxic or disinfectants drugs. However, it is recommended by medical professionals that gloves must not be used unnecessarily since indiscriminate and prolonged application might give rise to skin sensitivity and adverse reactions (Nursingtimes. net, 2007).

The healthcare specialists further recommend that gloves must be put on instantly prior to the task is to be executed and then must be removed and disposed of as soon as the task is completed. Gloves should be selected on the basis of an adequate and appropriate risk analysis. Latex or Nitrile gloves are regarded as ideal for the purpose of medical use while Polythene gloves are considered to be inappropriate for usage when handling body fluid or blood in a clinical milieu (Royal College of Nursing, 2005). Aprons form an equally significant part of the commonly established standard-based guidance, regulations, and rules, for infection avoidance and control.

The medical specialists state that single-use, non-reusable gowns, or plastic aprons, must be used on the basis of risk evaluation when the healthcare worker and their clothes come across the danger of being exposed to body fluids, blood, excretions, and secretions (Shepherd, 2011). The apron must be selected according to the task being performed and the apron must be disposed of after single use.

A study conducted stated that “ MRSA contamination of uniform” among nurses occurred in 31.8% of the cases where disposable aprons were used and the same reached 43.8% when no aprons were used in the process (National Clinical Guidance Centre, 2003). It is suggested by the medical experts that the aprons should be available in various sizes and it should be long-sleeved that would act as a guard for the body especially when the front part of the body along with the arms are likely to be contaminated by the body fluids, MRO’ s or blood (Centre for Healthcare Related Infection Surveillance and Prevention & Tuberculosis Control, 2013). Thus it can be concluded that gloves and aprons should be religiously used by healthcare professionals since these PPEs provide them as well as the patients, proper protection from infectious diseases.

Also apart from the prevention of chances of contamination, the usage of gloves and aprons forms a healthy and hygienic lifestyle. Moreover, this equipment should be chosen with great care since the material, size, length, etc.

have a major influence on the task performed.

References

Royal College of Nursing. (2012). Essential practice for infection prevention and control Guidance for nursing staff. Retrieved from http://www.rcn.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/427832/004166.pdf

Department of Health & Human Services Tasmanian Infection Prevention & Control Unit. (2010). Standard Precautions A guide for health care workers. Retrieved from http://www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/75714/Standard_Precautions_Guidance_V1.0.pdf

Nursingtimes.net. (2007). Standard principles: personal protective equipment and the safe use and disposal of sharps. Retrieved from http://www.nursingtimes.net/nursing-practice/clinical-zones/management/standard-principles-personal-protective-equipment-and-the-safe-use-and-disposal-of-sharps/291502.article

Royal College of Nursing. (2005). Good practice in infection prevention and control. Retrieved from http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sites3/documents/739/rcn%20infection%20control.doc.pdf

Shepherd, E. (2011). Should you always change plastic aprons between patients? Retrieved from http://www.nursingtimes.net/nursing-practice/clinical-zones/infection-control/should-you-always-change-plastic-aprons-between-patients/5035936.blog

National Clinical Guidance Centre. (2003). Infection: prevention and control of healthcare-associated infections in primary and community care. Retrieved from http://www.nice.org.uk/nicemedia/live/13684/58654/58654.pdf

Centre for Healthcare Related Infection Surveillance and Prevention & Tuberculosis Control. (2013). Prevention and Control of Infections in Dialysis Settings. Retrieved from http://www.health.qld.gov.au/chrisp/policy_framework/renal_guideline.pdf

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