When it comes to healthcare, one of the most important things to consider is safety. Healthcare workers must take every possible precaution to ensure their and their patient’s safety, and a pair of examination gloves are the best solution. But not all are created equal, and choosing the right pair can be tricky. There are many factors to consider, from material to size, thickness, and usage. This article will explore the different aspects of selecting them for your needs. So, whether you are a healthcare professional or a patient, read on to learn how to choose the right ones to keep you and those around you safe.
They come in three primary materials – latex, vinyl, and nitrile. Latex is created from natural rubber and is the most commonly used type. It is known for its superior tactile sensitivity and flexibility. However, some people may be allergic to it, so checking for allergies before using such products is essential.
Vinyl is made from synthetic materials and is an affordable option for healthcare facilities. It is comfortable to wear but not as durable as latex or nitrile.
Nitrile is created from synthetic rubber and is an excellent alternative for people with latex allergies. It is also durable and offers good chemical resistance. It is more expensive than latex and vinyl, but it is worth the investment if you need gloves that provide extra protection.
The thickness is measured in mils. A mil is one-thousandth of an inch. The thicker the gloves, the more protection they provide. However, thicker products can also reduce tactile sensitivity and make it harder to perform delicate tasks.
Most of them range from 2-8 mils in thickness. For general use, 4-6 mils thick gloves are recommended. For tasks that require extra protection, such as handling chemicals, those that are 8 mils thick or more are recommended.
Colour and price:
They come in various colours, including white, blue, and black. The colour does not affect their performance but can help identify different sizes or types. For example, some healthcare facilities use blue gloves for regular patient care and white ones for sterile procedures.
Latex is usually the most affordable option, while nitrile is the most expensive. However, it is crucial to remember that the price should not be the only factor to consider.
Cheaper ones may be less durable and offer less protection, which can cost you more in the long run if they tear or break easily, leading to potential contamination or injury. It’s crucial to balance the cost with their quality and effectiveness.
Consider the purpose for which you will use them when selecting. Some are designed for specific tasks, such as surgical gloves, requiring higher protection and sensitivity. Others, such as general-purpose examination gloves, are suitable for routine tasks such as patient care and laboratory work.
It’s also important to consider the environment in which they will be used. For example, if you work in a wet environment, you may need those that offer extra grip to prevent slipping.
Gloves that are too tight or loose can cause discomfort and affect your ability to perform tasks. Look for those that are comfortable to wear and allow for free movement of your hands.
If they have textured fingertips, they can provide a better grip. And the ones with a textured surface can reduce hand fatigue during prolonged use.
Choosing the right examination gloves can seem overwhelming, but considering the above mentioned factors, you can make an informed decision. Factors such as material, size, thickness, colour, price, usage and comfort play a role in selecting the right pair for your needs.
Remember to consider the purpose, the environment in which they will be utilised, and the safety standards that must be met to ensure you choose gloves that provide the necessary protection for you and your patients.