By Chen Wenli
The use of gloves in protecting hands from infecting diseases during healthcare works in an easy and effective way. Since 1987, gloves have become the key components for healthcare workers. Because of the different purposes under different circumstances, gloves have developed into many kinds of types and, understanding these types well will reduce the cost and improve the safety for both patients and healthcare workers.
Mainly, there are three types of gloves used in healthcare works: examination, surgical, and utility or heavy-duty household gloves.
1. Examination gloves
Workers use these gloves when they do their routine duties, sometimes in contact with mucous membranes and skin. Commonly, these gloves are made of vinyl, a synthetic material that can be made easily and not much expensive. While vinyl is inelastic (does not well as latex), the gloves are made often loose-fitting and can be taken off easily. In some cases, examination gloves are needed to better quality and made from latex or nitrile and can be bought in medical supply stores in most cities. Remember, all examination gloves are very thin and should not be reprocessed for reuse.
2. Surgical gloves
These gloves should be worn during some infectious medical procedures and surgical works. Workers use them for all procedures including contact with tissue deep under the skin. The best material for surgical gloves is latex rubber, because the rubber has natural elasticity, sensitivity and good durability and it provides a comfortable feeling. However, it’s also more expensive than vinyl and has a serious problem of latex allergy, a new synthetic rubber-like material called “nitrile” has been developed mow. It has properties that similar to latex. Gloves made of “nitrile” are less likely to cause allergic reactions. Different with examination gloves, surgical gloves can be reused. When doing this, they must be checked carefully for tears or cuts before final processing
3. Utility or heavy-duty household gloves
They should be worn in handling and operating equipment, instruments or other machines for healthcare use; in cleaning contaminated rubbish and disinfecting all the contaminated equipment. For example, they can be used when handling used instruments and equipment that may have contact with blood or body fluids and for handling medical waste and linens. Because of these, utility gloves are made of thick rubber. Through doing like this, these gloves are much less sensitive, have good performance in durability and they provide maximum protection as a barrier. While, these gloves are often less flexible and may make workers fell uncomfortable.