Personal Protective Gear
Personal protective gear is required for CNAs. This gear is designed to help you protect yourself from hazards at work, as well as protect the patient. There are several different types of personal protective gear or equipment on the market. Some are meant for hazard work, military, etc. For CNAs you have less equipment and more accessories to your wardrobe to consider. The type of personal protective gear you use will be based on work regulations and what facility you work at.
Gloves are the number one tool. Anytime you work with a patient or in the patient’s room you should wear gloves. Gloves keep germs off your hands. It is especially important to wear gloves when you clean the room, change the bedding or bathe your patient. It is also essential to wear gloves if you have to feed your patient or reposition them. Anytime you have contact with a room’s belongings or the patient you should wear gloves. Gloves are always worn when getting a blood sample, other sample, or starting IVs.
Hand sanitizer is one of the leading products placed throughout care facilities and most places of business. Hand sanitizer is a liquid soap that you rub into your hands to kill germs, rather than washing your hands. It is quick and easy to use. You may consider using hand sanitizer over clothes for certain things with your patient. For example, if they ask you to get them a blanket or a book, you could use hand sanitizer before and after you hand them the item.
Masks are mouth and nose coverings required in any medical or dental field. Masks will keep you from spraying saliva if you sneeze, talk, or cough. Furthermore, they will protect you from an airborne illness like a cold that your patient might have. They do not protect from certain illnesses, those that are highly hazardous, but in general, they are the best protection you can have. They should be worn when you are physically close to the patient, if you have a cold, or if the patient has a cold.
It is also a good idea to have shields or eye guards when working closely with a patient or cleaning supplies. When working with cleaning supplies consider wearing long sleeves to keep the supplies from gaining skin contact. Since there are some diseases that can be contagious through fluid contact you need to pay close attention to your personal protection gear and any sharp instruments you work with.