No matter which medical profession you belong to, you must have the right protective gear that can protect you from disease transmission. This gear typically includes medical gloves that prevent direct contact with blood-borne pathogens, harsh chemicals, and other hazardous substances. These disposable gloves offer high puncture resistance because most healthcare professionals work with needles, scalpels, and other surgical tools.
Medical disposable gloves act as a safety barrier against contamination and are generally utilized during examinations or other medical procedures. They are as necessary as other medical devices.
These disposable gloves can be fabricated from synthetic polymer, vinyl, latex, or nitrile material and are either sterile or non-sterile. This protective equipment provides defense against diseases for both the patient and the wearer.
When to Use Medical Gloves
Medical gloves should be worn during all medical procedures, specifically when your hands come in direct contact with someone else’s body fluids, hazardous drugs or potentially contaminated substances.
Healthcare guidelines ensure that all gloves utilized in medical settings are reliable and durable so they can provide the utmost protection. They effectively reduce the risk of contamination of medical workers’ hands with blood and body fluids. Therefore, these disposable gloves are considered the most essential precautionary measure in the healthcare department.
Types of Medical Gloves
It is an undeniable fact that medical gloves provide maximum protection against dangerous chemicals and microbes. However, there are numerous variations in these disposable gloves, and one must select them according to their specifications. Determining what kind of medical glove you require in your healthcare department is an important aspect of the risk reduction process.
These medical gloves consist of chemotherapy gloves, surgical gloves, and examination gloves. All of these are fabricated with different kinds of materials.
- Nitrile Gloves
Nitrile gloves are often referred to as medical-grade gloves because of being made of synthetic rubber. These gloves are generally more reliable and superior to other types when it comes to puncture and chemical resistance.
Therefore, medical professionals consider these disposable gloves to be the highest quality and use them in different kinds of medical settings. Moreover, they are the most resilient option in terms of durability and long shelf life while significantly minimizing the chance of allergies.
- Latex Gloves
Latex disposable gloves are made from a substance that is usually found on rubber trees. These gloves are one of the most highly preferred options across various industries. This is because of their ability to fit the wearer’s hand more perfectly while enabling high-tactile sensitivity.
These gloves provide the optimum level of protection against diseases caused by bacteria and viruses. However, they have a slightly weaker barrier against certain chemicals as compared to other glove options.
Latex gloves are one of the cheapest options available in the market than other alternatives. However, in some cases, despite their advantages of comfort and protection, these disposable gloves can trigger allergies in some people. Therefore in medical settings, nitrile gloves are usually preferred.
- Vinyl Gloves
Vinyl gloves are created from petroleum-based film. The most significant advantage of these disposable gloves is that they can be manufactured at the lowest costs. This makes these gloves less durable than other types, with limited protection against harmful pathogens or disease-causing substances. When these gloves are elongated, their molecules separate, lowering the integrity of the protective barrier.
However, they can be used in various food handling, chemical and oil industries. Despite being less durable, they are still very effective in protecting acids, emulsions, oily substances, and other liquids where cross-contamination requires to be held to a strict minimum.
These gloves are generally more prevalent in low-infection and non-hazardous environments.
Powdered vs. Unpowered Gloves
In powdered gloves, the inside of the glove is coated in cornstarch powder, making them easier to put on the wearer’s hands. Cornstarch is non-irritating; that’s why it is widely preferred in the making of powdered gloves. However, in some instances, this powder can hinder healing if it gets into tissues. Therefore unpowered gloves are the most suitable option, specifically for healthcare workers.
Things You Need to Know Before Using Medical Gloves
Don’t forget to wash your hands properly before putting on disposable medical gloves. Make sure your gloves fit properly and are comfortable during all healthcare activities.
Some people are usually allergic to the rubber latex used in the manufacturing of some type of medical gloves. Therefore, FDA has set guidelines that manufacturers must identify the material used to make medical gloves on the package labeling. If you or your patient is more prone to allergies, try to opt for the type of medical gloves fabricated from other synthetic materials, such as polyvinyl chloride.
- Be aware of sharp objects that can potentially puncture your gloves.
- Always change your gloves if they rip off.
- After taking off your gloves, wash your hands thoroughly.
- Never reuse these gloves.
- Never wash or disinfect medical gloves.
- Don’t share your gloves with other people.
Moreover, gloves can pick up harmful substances and pathogens just like your hands. Therefore, prevent touching your face or any other body while wearing gloves.
Who Wears Medical Gloves?
Medical gloves offer maximum protection against disease transmission and can be used in various industries. They are typically worn by healthcare professionals, caregivers, surgeons, lab technicians, pharmacists, dentists, rescue workers, food handlers and more.
Which Is the Best Glove Option?
There is no actual answer to which glove option is the most suitable one. Every particular kind of glove is designed for specific users depending on their setting requirements and preferences. However, first-time users should carefully consider their sensitivities to allergies and frequency of usage. Nevertheless, the best decision is to purchase at least one set of each glove, just in case it becomes necessary.
What Types Of Gloves Are Used in Hospitals?
In hospitals, healthcare professionals use both nitrile and latex gloves. However, nowadays, latex allergies are relatively more common and can cause severe dermatitis, so hospitals generally make both options available to their staff. Mostly, disposable nitrile gloves are preferred in the healthcare department because of being the most durable ones.