Personal protective equipment, or PPE, is specialized gear that you can wear to protect yourself from germs, bacteria, and other infectious diseases. PPE provides a barrier between you and whatever pathogens or bacteria you might be exposed to. Personal protective equipment comes in a variety of different forms, all with the same purpose of protecting an individual from contact with viruses and bacteria. Depending on your job or individual need, the type of PPE you choose will vary from one person to the next.
PPE includes eye protection, gowns, facemasks, respirators, gloves, and shoe coverings. Eye protection can be worn to prevent infectious diseases from being transmitted through the mucous membranes of the eye. Viruses and bacteria can get into the eye directly from touching your eyes with contaminated fingers, splashes of fluids, or by droplets generated from coughing. PPE keeps a protective layer between you and those harmful viruses. Appropriate eye protection includes, face shields, goggles, safety glasses, and full-face respirators. If you are a health care provider, you are probably already familiar with many of these and most likely use some form of personal protective equipment each day at work.
Many individuals who work outside of the health care field are choosing to wear personal protective equipment daily to protect themselves from current health concerns and want to lessen their chances of becoming infected. When worn correctly, PPE can help protect you and lessen your chances of becoming exposed to a potential virus or harmful bacteria. Proper procedures can be followed for handling your PPE safely. For example, disposable face masks should not be reused. Breathing into them can cause moisture buildup and can create an opportunity for bacteria growth. Reusing disposable face masks can expose you to new bacteria and germs. Disposable latex gloves should not be reused and should be handled with care when taking them off. Gloves should be pulled off at the wrists and peeled back so that the glove is inside-out when it is off, leaving all contaminants inside the gloves and away from touch or contact.
PPE can help protect you from exposure to harmful bacteria when used correctly. If you need help deciding which type of PPE is best for you and your individual needs, contact your local pharmacy or medical supply store so you can discuss what you need and how to use the protective gear properly. Stay healthy and safe with personal protective equipment.
Learn more about personal protective equipment and measures by taking MyCPR NOW’s Bloodborne Pathogens Certification. Start today and get certified online by clicking the link below!