How to Put on Sterile Gloves

Nursing Knowledge

How to Put on Sterile Gloves

In the healthcare setting, nurses are responsible for ensuring that medical procedures are performed safely and effectively. Maintaining a sterile environment is an important part of this, helping prevent infections and promoting client safety. This guide provides information on how to maintain aseptic technique when donning sterile gloves and to prevent surgical site infections and other complications that can arise from contaminated equipment or surfaces.
Last updated: December 4, 2023

Table of contents

What does “sterile” mean? 

In a medical context, “sterile” means free from all living microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, spores, and fungi. It is a state in which all forms of life have been killed or removed completely.

Why is it so important that nurses maintain a sterile environment? 

Nurses play a critical role in maintaining sterility in healthcare settings, from correctly sterilizing equipment to following appropriate infection control procedures, such as hand hygiene and using personal protective equipment (PPE). The nurse’s role is vital in protecting both patients and healthcare workers.

  • Prevent infections: When carrying out procedures such as surgery, wound care, inserting IV lines, or administering injections, sterility helps ensure that harmful pathogens aren’t introduced into a client’s body.
  • Client safety: Clients in healthcare settings often have weakened immune systems, being more susceptible to infections. A sterile environment helps to protect the vulnerable clients.
  • Promote healing (particularly wound care)
  • Prevent disease spread

What is aseptic technique? 

Aseptic technique is a set of practices used to prevent contamination and maintain sterility during medical procedures.

How do you maintain aseptic technique during medical procedures?

To maintain aseptic technique during medical procedures, you should: 

  • Perform hand hygiene before and after contact with clients or contaminated surfaces
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Use sterile instruments and supplies when necessary
  • Avoid touching non-sterile surfaces or items while wearing sterile gloves or other PPE
  • Follow proper cleaning and disinfection protocols for equipment and surfaces

How do you put on sterile gloves? (step-by-step)

  1. Perform hand hygiene.
  2. Place the sterile gloves on a clean, dry, flat surface.
  3. Open the inner package by grasping the inner edges of the wrapper.
  4. With your left hand grasp the folded inner surface of the glove that will be applied to your right hand.
  5. Lift the glove up and insert your right hand, keeping the palm facing up.
  6. Pull the inner cuff of the right glove over your right hand.
  7. Insert the gloved right hand into the fold of the left glove.
  8. Lift the left glove and insert the left hand.
  9. Pull the glove onto the left hand.
  10. Adjust fitting and fingers as needed.

When should sterile gloves be worn? 

Sterile gloves should be worn by healthcare workers when performing procedures that involve direct contact with sterile body sites, invasive medical devices, or sterile products. Examples: 

  • Surgical or invasive procedures
  • Wound care
  • Contact with sterile sites (e.g. childbirth)
  • Handling sterile equipment 

What is a surgical site infection (SSI)? 

Surgical site infection (SSI) is an infection that occurs after surgery in the part of the body where surgery took place. It can be caused by bacteria entering through incisions made during surgery or from other sources such as contaminated equipment or healthcare workers’ hands.

How can you prevent surgical site infections? 

To prevent surgical site infections, healthcare workers should follow proper aseptic technique during medical procedures, use appropriate PPE, properly clean and disinfect equipment and surfaces, and administer prophylactic antibiotics when appropriate. Clients can also help prevent SSIs by following preoperative instructions, such as bathing with antiseptic soap and avoiding eating or drinking before surgery.


How to Put on Sterile Gloves

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