Kicking the glove habit
Through my work with NIVAS, I spent quite a bit of time in 2022 talking about glove use in clinical practice. I've had time to reflect on my own practice and practice nationally within the IV therapy and vascular access world. I was at a conference recently where the results of a mixed-methods study were presented. The observational study of non-sterile clinical glove use in two acute UK hospitals showed that nonsterile clinical gloves are often used when they are not needed, put on too early, taken off too late or not changed at critical points (Wilson et al, 2017).
Healthcare workers seem to be constantly observed wearing gloves while making beds, taking observations and providing personal care to patients with the absence of handwashing and changing of gloves between these activities. It is not surprising that the overuse of clinical gloves has been linked to increased risk of infection and cross-contamination of patients, especially those with indwelling devices.
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