Donning and Doffing PPE
Protecting yourself and your patients is one of the most important parts of your job as a CNA. Properly donning and doffing PPE (personal protection equipment) is a critical element in this type of protection. When you can follow the steps for putting on and removing PPE properly, you are helping to reduce the risk of infection transmission to yourself and your patients.
Different Types of PPE
There are five main categories of PPEs you might see while working as a CNA. These each have their own types of equipment.
Face and Eye Protection
- Safety glasses
- Chemical goggles
- Face shields
- General medical gloves
- Chemical-resistant gloves
- Traditional blend gowns
- Barrier gowns
- Shoe covers
- Surgical masks
- N-95 respirators
- Full-face respirators
- Half-mask respirators
- Hearing Band
Selecting the Proper PPE
Choosing the right PPE will depend on the identified hazards. In a medical setting, the following precautions apply:
- Contact precautions: This would be for conditions like c. difficile and MRSA. You would wear a gown and gloves.
- Droplet precautions: This applies to conditions like influenza and whooping cough. You would wear a gown, gloves and a mask.
- Airborne precautions: This would apply to chickenpox, tuberculosis, and other airborne infections. Patients are placed into a negative pressure room. You would wear gloves, a gown, and a respirator.
There are also situations where patients are in reverse isolation. For example, if the patient has a reduced immune system. In these cases, you would wear gloves, a gown, and a mask.
How to Don PPE?
In most instances, you will apply your PPE before you go into the patient’s room and make contact. To don a gown, use the following steps:
- Choose the right size and type
- Secure the strings at your neck and then your waist
To don a mask, use the following steps:
- Place the mask so that it covers your mouth, chin, and nose
- Ensure the nose piece that is flexible fits over your nose’s bridge securely
- Use the elastic or ties to secure the mask
To done face shields and goggles, use the following steps:
- Place the goggles or shield over your eyes
- Use the headband or earpieces to secure it
To don gloves, use the following steps:
- Wash your hands
- Make sure they cover the wrist of your gown
- Tuck the gown’s cuffs into your gloves
Tips to Keep in Mind about Donning PPE
When you are putting on a gown, if you cannot find the right size, it is best to go a little bigger. If all of the gowns are too small, you can wear two of them. Start by putting one on with the opening in the front. Then, put the second gown on with the opening in the back.
For an N-95 mask, make sure that you are following the model-specific fitting requirements for complete protection.
How to Doff PPE?
To doff PPE, you need to remove it in a specific order. Remove your personal protective equipment using the following steps:
- Use the earpieces or headband to remove your face shield or goggles
- Unfasten the ties and pull your gown away from your body, turning it inside out
- Remove your shoe covers starting at the back of your ankles
- Remove your mask using the outer corners
- Remove your globes by peeling them off by the inside of the gloves
- Perform hand hygiene
Tips to Keep in Mind about Doffing PPE
It is important that you immediately discard all items once you remove them from your body. Stay close to a trash receptacle to make this easy. If you wear two pairs of gloves, remove the first one as the first step and then do the other steps in the same order.