PPE for Standard Precautions: Determining What to Wear
Decisions about what PPE to use should be determined by the type and level of contact you will have with the client. Ask yourself:
- Will I be touching the client or potentially contaminated objects in their environment?
- Is there a likelihood of blood or body fluids spraying or splashing?
- Is the client coughing, sneezing, or vomiting?
- Do they have diarrhea?
Decisions about PPE can also be made with the following in mind: the diagnosis or suspected diagnosis of the client, the client's symptoms, and the type of infectious agent or illness you may encounter. To determine what PPE to wear, ask yourself:
- What is the client's diagnosis or suspected diagnosis?
- Is the client infectious?
- What is the infectious agent or illness that I may encounter?
- What is the mode of transmission of this agent or illness?
- Does the client have symptoms which lead to increased likelihood of transmission?
Consider the use of the following PPE:
- Gloves: Use when you will have to touch a client in a way that might lead to exposure to blood or body fluids or touch objects in their environment that may be contaminated
- Gowns: Use when there is a risk of your clothing or exposed skin coming in contact with anything wet or weeping
- Mask and goggles or a face shield: Use when there is a risk of being splashed or sprayed with blood or body fluids
When in doubt, applying the most conservative level of PPE is the best protection.
What would you wear?
In addition to standard precautions, transmission-based precautions should be when you know or suspect that a client has an illness or infectious agent or if the client's symptoms pose a risk of contact with blood or body fluids.The practice of transmission-based precautions include contact precautions; droplet precautions; and airborne precautions.
What PPE would you wear when visiting a client who has been diagnosed with...