Are You Wearing The Right Sized Exam Gloves?

Did you know that it’s essential to wear the right sized protective equipment in your medical setting? Exam gloves are worn daily by many medical professionals and it’s very important these exam gloves fit.

Hand protection is key during routine patient exams, procedures and handling sick patients. It’s important for medical personnel to know the right size exam gloves to use at work. First, you must decide which type of exam glove to use. This can include natural rubber latex, vinyl, nitrile, latex free gloves, etc. Once you have determined the type of exam glove, proper sizing is crucial.

If you have exam gloves that are too big, they can easily be pulled off or liquids can make its way inside the glove. This can also be distracting to the wearer. If you have exam gloves that are too tight, it can cause fatigue and decrease dexterity. The images to the right indicate a pair of exam gloves that are (A) too loose, (B) too tight and (C ) a good fit.

To make sure you’re wearing a pair of the right sized exam gloves, you’ll want to measure your hands. You want to measure around the knuckles of your dominant hand (above the V of your thumb). If you have a measurement of 8 inches, you would wear a size 8 glove or perhaps an 8 ½ to be safe. Many glove brands convert number sizes into XS, S, M, L and XL sizes. See the chart below for recommended sizing conversions: *Measurements are for guidance purposes only. Please consult your glove manufacturer  for their recommended sizing.

Men’s Measurements6” - 7”7” - 8”8”- 9”9”- 10”10” - 11”
Women’s Measurements6”- 6 ½” 6 ½” - 7”7” - 7 ½” 7 ½” - 8”8” - 8 ½”
Remember, the fit of your exam gloves can affect your job performance. It’s important to wear the proper sized exam glove that fits your hand, proper glove sizing is key. If you have any questions or comments on selecting the right glove size, please let us know below!

Weekly Wrap For October 27 – November 1, 2013

PPE Use In Healthcare Settings

PPE or personal protective equipment is defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as “specialized clothing or equipment worn by an employee for protection against infectious materials”. OSHA regulations require the use of PPE in healthcare settings to protect healthcare personnel from exposure to bloodborne pathogens and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. 

Why Wearing A Face Mask Is Important

Hospital and medical center staff wear face masks to prevent the spread of disease. This post will highlight why wearing a face mask is so important and how to wear a face mask in your medical setting.

Whiteboard Wednesday: Patient Protection

It’s Whiteboard Wednesday! Sticking with our infection control theme, today Faye talks about the importance of patient protection supplies.

How To Choose The Right Human Skeleton Model

The human skeletal system, the internal skeleton serves as a framework for the body, is one of the most difficult body components to study and observe. Human skeleton models and diagrams are the primary teaching tools used to teach students and patients. When it comes to choosing the right human skeleton model it is important to familiarize yourself with the skeletal system.

Why Wearing A Face Mask Is Important

Hospital and medical center staff wear face masks to prevent the spread of disease. This post will highlight why wearing a face mask is so important and how to wear a face mask in your medical setting.

Why wear a face mask?

Wearing a face mask will help prevent the spread of infection and prevent the individual from contracting any airborne infectious germs. When someone coughs, talks, sneezes they could release germs into the air that may infect others nearby. Face masks are part of an infection control strategy to eliminate cross-contamination.

How should your face mask be worn?

  1. Always wash your hands with soap and water before touching the face mask.
  2. Remove mask from the dispenser or box and make sure the masks do not have any holes or tears.
  3. Make sure you determine which side is the top and which is the front of the mask, so you can properly wear the mask.
  4. Face masks with ear loops: hold by the ear loops and put the loops around each ear.
  5. Face masks with ties: bring mask to your nose and place the ties over your head to secure with a tie.
  6. Face masks with bands: hold mask to your nose and pull the top strap over the crown of your head and pull the bottom strap over your head so its at the nape of your neck.
  7. Pull the mask over your mouth and chin

Our CoolOne Ear Loop Masks with Magic Arch Support are hypoallergenic and fluid resistant, ideal for medical settings. The magic arch support holds the mask away from the nose and mouth and provides a cooler, more comfortable breathing chamber without obstruction of downward vision.

Do you wear face masks in a medical setting? Let us know below!

PPE Use In Healthcare Settings

PPE or personal protective equipment is defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as “specialized clothing or equipment worn by an employee for protection against infectious materials”. OSHA regulations require the use of PPE in healthcare settings to protect healthcare personnel from exposure to bloodborne pathogens and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Under OSHA guidelines, employers must provide their employees with the appropriate PPE while ensuring that PPE is properly disposed of if disposable, cleaned or laundered, repaired and stored after each use.

Protecting healthcare personnel from infectious disease exposures in the workplace requires a combination of controls. The use of PPE is one of four key components in the hierarchy of healthcare worker safety programs.

  • Training (e.g. policies and procedures)
  • Engineering Controls (e.g. negative pressure rooms)
  • Work Practice Controls (e.g. not recapping needles)
  • Personal Protective Equipment

Although PPE is listed last in the hierarchy of prevention, it is extremely important for protecting healthcare workers from disease transmission. Listed below is a sampling of some commonly found types of PPE found in healthcare settings.

  • Gloves (protect hands)
  • Gowns/aprons (protect skin and clothing)
  • Masks (protect mouth/nose)
  • Respirators (protect respiratory tract from airborne infectious agents)
  • Goggles/glasses (protect eyes)
  • Face shields (protect face, mouth, nose and eyes)
  • Shoe covers (protects from airborne infectious agents)
  • Head covers/bonnets  (protects from airborne infectious agents)

The type of PPE used will vary based on the level of precautions required;  standard and contact, droplet or airborne infection isolation. When selecting PPE it is important to consider three things; type of exposure anticipated, durability and appropriateness for the task, and fit. Remember to always use safe work practices to protect yourself and limit the spread of contamination. Polices may vary by facility, please check with the appropriate department director in your facility for more information.

How Infections In Hospitals Spread

How do infections in hospital settings spread? People.

People spread a majority of infections within a hospital. Who are these people? Patients, medical personnel and visitors are our top three sources. These groups can easily (and quickly) spread infection without even knowing it.

Patients are already sick and can possibly have infections or diseases already. They can spread infection by touching, coughing, sneezing, or leaving behind any bodily fluids for unprotected visitors or medical staff to pick up.

This is why many infection control standards include isolation precautions, which isolate patients from other patients or certain areas of the hospital.

Medical Staff
It’s very easy for medical staff to spread infection throughout hospitals. They are providing care for multiple patients in a single day and can carry germs from room to room.

That is why it’s important for medical staff to wear protective apparel, wash their hands and follow all infection control standards when it comes to cross-contamination.

It’s also easy for visitors to spread infection, as sometimes they may visit with a small cold or worse – contagious illness or disease. This can spread infection to patients both directly and indirectly. It’s essential for hospital visitors to not visit when they’re sick. Sick visitors can negatively affect the health of patients.

Infection can spread through germs that are airborne, from direct contact or indirect contact. It doesn’t take long for infection to spread. It’s important to remember that hospital infections can range from minor colds to serious, life-threatening conditions. If you have questions or comments on how infection can spread through a hospital, please let us know below.

Infection Prevention: 10 Ways To Protect Your Patients From Infection

October 20-26 is International Infection Prevention Week!

Protecting patients from infection is everyone’s responsibility. Join your healthcare colleagues in celebrating International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW) this week to help raise awareness of the importance of infection prevention. The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology  (APIC) initiated the formal commemoration of IIPW in 2006 and has been increasing awareness of infection prevention throughout the world.

APIC continues to lead the annual effort every third week in October to highlight the benefits of infection prevention. As awareness of IIPW continues to grow, more patients will benefit from safer healthcare practices and will reduce the threat of healthcare-associated infections. Although the focus of IIPW is only 7 days, infection prevention should become a daily commitment. APIC has created a helpful list providing healthcare professionals 10 ways to protect patients from infections. A one-page infographic has also been created by APIC illustrating the steps that patients can take to support infection prevention efforts in healthcare facilities and lower their risk of infections.

  1. Wash or clean your hands before and after you provide care to a patient.

  2. Use gloves the right way.

  3. Get your shots-including your annual flu shot-and make sure everyone in your family does too.

  4. Follow the rules of isolation for the patient’s protection.

  5. Follow safe injection practices-remember One needle, One syringe, Only one time.

  6. Make patient identification a priority: right drug, right time, right dose.

  7. Keep the patient’s room and equipment clean.

  8. Know when antibiotics are appropriate…and when they are NOT.

  9. What you wear matters! Make sure your attire does not become a source of infection.

  10. Know about the infection preventionist.

Please visit the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology website to discover more helpful resources that you can share with your colleagues, friends and family. As IIPW expands, more patients benefit from safer healthcare practices and reduced threat of healthcare-associated infections.

Prevent Surgical Site Infections

Did you know that surgical site infections are the the most common type of hospital-acquired infections?

Surgical site infections are at the top of the list when it comes to the most common hospital-acquired infections, followed by catheter-associated urinary tract, hospital-associated clostridium difficile, central-line-associated bloodstream, and ventilator-associated pneumonia according to Medscape.

A surgical site infection (SSI) is defined as an infection that occurs post surgery in the part of the body where surgery took place. A majority of surgical site infections can be prevented and most can be treated with antibiotics. A few common infection control recommendations for surgical sites include:

  • Prepare the patient’s skin immediately before incision with an antiseptic (alcohol-based or aqueous) method.
  • Cover the patient’s incision with appropriate dressing after the surgery.
  • Keep surgical site clean by disinfecting all surfaces before and after surgery.
  • Sterilize all surgical instruments.
  • Wear the appropriate surgical attire, this can include surgical masks, sterile gloves, scrubs, cover drapes, etc.

It’s important to follow all infection control guidelines to reduce the risk of surgical site infections to your patients. By contracting a surgical site infections, patients are at risk for diseases or severe medical conditions, foreign objects, weak immune system, additional corrective surgery, etc. The signs and symptoms of a surgical site infection may include a wound that is painful and does not heal or get better, high or low body temperature, increased swelling around the wound, etc. What do you do in your medical facility to prevent surgical site infections? Let us know below!

What You Should Know Before Flu Season

The flu season isn’t quite here yet, but there are some important factors you should know before it is! The flu season primarily takes place in the winter, but the exact timing can vary and can start as early as October.

Did you know?

  • Approximately 5% to 20% of the U.S. gets the flu
  • Over 200,000 people are hospitalized because of seasonal flu complications
  • Flu activity commonly peaks around January to February
  • 135-139 million doses of the flu vaccine are estimated to be produced for the 2013-2014 influenza season
  • The CDC says that older adults, pregnant women, young children and people with certain health conditions (asthma, diabetes, heart problems) are at greater risk for flu complications

To help reduce the risk of catching the flu this year, many physicians and healthcare facilities will recommend multiple ways to prevent the flu. The following are just a few of those recommendations.

How can you avoid the flu?

  • Wash your hands – with soap! This is very important whether you’re at work, school, the gym, basically anywhere you are in contact with other people.
  • Make sure to wash hands before and after you eat food
  • Eat healthy meals
  • Get enough sleep (at least 7 hours)
  • Try to avoid contact with those who are sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing
  • Stay home from work if you have developed symptoms of the flu
  • It’s recommended the best time to get your flu vaccine is October or November

The key to staying healthy during flu season is to follow preventative recommendations. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below!

Honoring Emergency Nurses Week

It’s that time of year again, Emergency Nurses Week! This week is sponsored by the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA). From October 6th through October 12th, this week is observed to recognize emergency nurses for their hard work, commitment and service in hospitals and healthcare facilities everywhere.

Emergency nurses are often considered to be the center of the emergency department. They are trained to handle emergency or critical situations when it comes to a patient’s illnesses or injuries. The Emergency Nurses Association states on their website, “This year’s theme, Everyday Extraordinary, is a call to acknowledge the daily bravery, devotion and dedication provided by nurses who save lives and care for the critically ill, mentally ill, traumatized and marginalized patients who enter their doors 24/7.”

We’re excited to celebrate all ER nurses out there and would like to thank you for your hard work and dedication all year long!

How To Prevent A Slippery Operating Room Floor

Have you worked in an operating room where the floor becomes wet and slippery throughout the procedure? Are you using blankets and non-absorbent cloths to clean up the mess? We’ve found the perfect solution for you. The absorbent surgical mats will create a safe and dry operating room floor.

The operating room can often become messy. Spills and various liquids on the floor is actually a very common scenario. Many will use a blanket to quickly clean but this can lead to problems such as:

  • Liquids leak and drip all over the floor due to the inability of the blanket to absorb liquid.
  • Blankets will cost time and money and will need to be laundered every time.
  • Blankets can be easily tripped over creating a hazardous environment.

The absorbent surgical mats are the solution. These super-absorbent surgical mats have 8 layers and absorbs up to 10 times its own weight in fluids, without leaking back into the floor. The grippy mats are disposable, for easy and quick disposal. The mats lie flat on the floor to prevent tripping over gathered blankets and allows carts to easily move on it.

The surgical mat is available in a pad style or roll style. The pad option is pre-cut, making it easy to get and can be folded for storage purposes. The roll option allows you to use the exact amount needed and can also be easily stored as well. Surgical absorbent mats are an excellent solution for slippery operating room floors. If you have any questions or comments, please leave a message below.