Standard PPE in Medical Facilities

Personal protective equipment, otherwise known as PPE, minimizes exposure to fluids and infectious organisms. Currently, PPE is also being used to protect health workers and the general public from COVID-19. PPE is essential to the health and safety of many individuals, especially those employees in medical facilities.

Face Protection

Face protection may be the first thing that came to mind when thinking about the standard PPE in medical facilities. The most common forms of face protection are masks and goggles. A mask protects the mouth and nose by preventing fluid penetration, but only if the mouth and nose are fully covered. This is made possible by the ability to manipulate the flexible nose piece and securing string ties to fit the face snuggly.

Goggles should also fit snuggly since their purpose is to protect the eyes from any fluid penetration. It is important to note that wearing everyday glasses should not be used as a substitute for goggles, as they are not snug around the eyes. There are goggles with an antifog feature should there be an issue with clarity. If full face protection is required, consider using a face shield.

Hand Protection and Hygiene

Hand protection is one of the most important types of standard PPE in medical facilities. Nearly every task requires using the hands, so wearing PPE on the hands is extremely important. Gloves are a type of PPE that most medical facilities utilize because there is a barrier created between the hands and any organisms or fluid present. As an individual working in a medical facility, wearing gloves is essential to maintaining health and safety. Hand hygiene should be performed immediately after removing PPE, such as gloves. Using an alcohol-based hand rub or hand sanitizer is appropriate unless hands are visibly contaminated, in which case washing hands with soap and water is necessary.

Body Protection

A medical gown is another form of PPE that protects individuals from fluid penetration. The type of gown worn varies depending on the use, so there are reusable or disposable gown options. There may also be an option to choose between clean or sterile gowns. Clean gowns are suggested for isolation, whereas sterile gowns are suggested for invasive procedures. Isolation gowns are the preferred PPE clothing.

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