What PPE should carers wear?
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is equipment that protects the user from harm. It can be used in a variety of settings, including healthcare, construction, and manufacturing. Carers, in particular, need to be aware of the different types of PPE available and when to wear it.
The type of PPE required will depend on the specific tasks being performed and the risks involved. For example, a carer who is providing personal care to someone with a contagious infection will need to wear more PPE than a carer who is simply helping someone with their meals.
Some of the most common types of PPE used by carers include:
- Gloves: Gloves protect the wearer's hands from contact with blood, bodily fluids, and other harmful substances. Gloves should be worn whenever there is a risk of contact with these substances, such as when dressing someone, helping them to use the toilet, or cleaning up a bodily fluid spill.
- Aprons: Aprons protect the wearer's clothing from contamination. They should be worn whenever there is a risk of splashing or spilling bodily fluids.
- Eye protection: Eye protection, such as goggles or a face shield, protects the wearer's eyes from splashes and sprays. Eye protection should be worn whenever there is a risk of contact with bodily fluids or other harmful substances.
- Masks: Masks protect the wearer from inhaling airborne germs. They should be worn whenever there is a risk of exposure to airborne germs, such as when caring for someone with a respiratory infection.
In addition to the basic PPE listed above, carers may also need to wear other types of PPE depending on the specific tasks they are performing. For example, a carer who is helping someone with wound care may need to wear a sterile gown and mask. A carer who is providing care to someone with a highly contagious infection, such as COVID-19, may need to wear a respirator mask.
It is important to note that PPE is only effective if it is worn correctly. Carers should be trained on how to put on and take off PPE safely. They should also be aware of the importance of hand hygiene and other infection control measures.
Here are some additional tips for carers on how to wear PPE safely:
- Put on PPE in the following order: gloves, apron, eye protection, mask.
- Take off PPE in the following order: mask, eye protection, apron, gloves.
- Inspect PPE for damage before using it. If any damage is found, discard the PPE and use a new piece.
- Make sure that PPE fits snugly but comfortably.
- Do not touch your face or hair while wearing PPE.
- Change your gloves and apron frequently, especially if they become soiled or damaged.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after taking off PPE.
By following these tips, carers can help to protect themselves and the people they care for.