Allied Health: Protective Clothing
Personal protective equipment like gloves and gowns can prevent contamination and transmission of organisms. Healthcare personnel should wear protective clothing items during patient-care activities that could possibly allow for the splashing or spraying of blood or other body fluids. Protective clothing should also be worn if a healthcare provider enters an isolation room.
Clean, nonsterile, fluid resistant gowns are generally effect barriers against splashing or spraying fluids. They can also be worn to prevent their clothing from getting soiled during patient-care activities. Sterile gowns are best worn when a healthcare provider comes into contact with a patient's that have compromised immune systems. This helps to prevent any contaminants on the healthcare providers clothing from coming into contact with the patient.
Most gowns are made of disposable cloth or paper. They are typically one size, with long sleeves and knit cuffs. The gowns usually fasten in the back so that the front panel is completely blocked.
When a gown is put on the inside should be the only surface that is touched. This prevents the outside of the gown from becoming contaminated. When worn properly, a gown's sleeves should be pulled down to the wrist. The belt for the gown should be tied and gown should be overlapped at the back to prevent any exposure of clothing. Be sure that the gown is securely fastened. The gown can be removed by sliding the arms out of the sleeves. The gown should be folded so that the contaminated sides of the gown end up inside and not exposed.
Lab coats are similar to gowns and are also worn to prevent soiled clothing and to protect the skin from sprays of blood or body fluids. If you are a phlebotomist, you are required to wear a lab coat. There are certain lab coats that are made with fluid-resistant cotton or synthetic materials. These types of lab coats should be worn for specimen collection.