Standard Precautions: Gloves and Other PPE

Gloves and other personal protective equipment (PPE) create a barrier between you and germs. To use standard precautions, follow the guidelines below.

Gloves and gown

Goggles and cap

Mask and mouth cover

When to wear gloves

Before wearing gloves, wash and dry your hands well. Cover cuts, scratches, or scrapes with bandages. Also:

  • Wear gloves whenever contact is possible with blood or other potentially infectious materials. This includes any body fluids and substances (except sweat), broken skin, or mucous membranes.

  • Wear gloves when touching any item that may be contaminated. Avoid touching uncontaminated items with contaminated gloves.

  • Remove gloves right after use. Wash hands and put on clean gloves between patients. Don’t reuse disposable gloves.

When to wear other PPE

Gowns, masks, goggles, and other PPE can help keep you and your patients safe. In addition to gloves, you may need to wear:

  • A gown, apron, or lab coat to protect your body and clothing. Wear a fluid-resistant gown or apron, or an impermeable lab coat if body fluids splash or spray. Remove body protection as soon as possible when it becomes soiled or wet.

  • Mouth, nose, and eye protection if any body fluid may splash or spray. Wear a fluid-resistant mask with goggles or a face shield.

  • Respiratory protection. Follow your facility’s guidelines.

Disposing of PPE

Right after removing gloves and using other disposable items, put them into the correct trash bin. Reusable gowns and other linens should be placed in a marked laundry bin. Put reusable equipment in the proper place to be cleaned and disinfected.