The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Standard 1910.132 requires the use of personnel protective equipment, or PPE, in work places where exposure to harmful substances is possible. PPE can prevent вЂњcontact with the infectious agent, or body fluid that may contain the infectious agent, by creating a barrier between the worker and the infectious material,вЂќ according to the Centers for Disease Control. Many procedures and manuals tell you to simply "don PPE" without giving explicit instructions as to how to put it on and in what order. Fortunately, you can follow a few simple rules when donning nonsterile PPE to maximize its effectiveness.
Don your gown first by securing the ties at the neck and waist.
Put on a mask or particulate respirator. If using a mask, place it over your nose, mouth and chin, securing it with the attached cloth or elastic strings to fit and pinching the metal clamp, if applicable, over the bridge of your nose. You don particulate respirators much the same way as a mask, except you should have a professional fit-test a respirator prior to use.
Don goggles or a face shield. Goggles with standard earpieces work just like regular glasses; tighten those with an additional, or standalone, headband so the goggles do not slide off your nose. If using a face shield, place the top portion on your brow and affix the headband so it fits comfortably.
Slip on gloves by inserting each of your hands into a single glove, which are typically ambidextrous, and adjusting them to fit. Place the cuffs of your gown under each glove to eliminate any gaps between your gloves and your gown. If you'd like, place another glove on your hands to achieve the extra protection of "double gloving."
Remove your gloves by peeling one of the gloves away from your wrist with the other gloved hand, turning the glove inside out in the process. Slide a finger from the now bare hand under the remaining glove and peel it off from your wrist, again, turning the glove inside out in the process,
Take off your goggles or face shield by grasping the portions nearest your ears and pulling up and away from your face.
Remove your gown by unfastening the straps in the back and pulling away it away from your neck and shoulders.
Remove your mask or respirator by untying or lifting the straps up and over from the back of your head and away from your face.
Dispose of all applicable PPE according to local policies and procedures.