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01.04 Sterile Gloves

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  1. Purpose
    1. Sterile gloves should be worn for ALL sterile procedures, including but not limited to:
      1. Foley insertion
      2. Central line dressing changes
      3. Wound care
    2. Properly applying sterile gloves is KEY to maintaining the sterility of the gloves

Nursing Points


  1. Supplies Needed
    1. Appropriately sized sterile gloves
    2. Bedside table or other flat surface above waist level
  2. Sterile Technique basics
    1. Can only touch the outside 1-inch edge of any sterile package with non-sterile hands
    2. Sterile gloved hands and other sterile field items must stay above waist and below shoulders
    3. Only sterile items should go on a sterile field
    4. Ensure all sterile items are not expired – this voids their sterility
    5. DON’T
      1. Turn your back on the sterile field
      2. Reach over a sterile field
      3. Let a sterile field get wet

Nursing Concepts

    1. Steps and Nursing Considerations
      1. Gather supplies
      2. Perform hand hygiene
      3. Open the outer package, remove gloves package and discard outer package
      4. Open the inner package, touching only the outer 1-inch edge
        1. Cuff side of gloves should be facing you
      5. Use your non-dominant hand to pick up the dominant hand glove by grasping the folded bottom edge of the cuff with 2 fingers and lift it up and away from the paper
      6. Place your dominant hand into the glove, being careful not to touch the outside of the glove with your hand or fingers
      7. Using your dominant hand (gloved), slip your fingers under the cuff of the non-dominant hand glove and lift it off the paper
      8. Carefully place your non-dominant hand in the glove, being careful not to touch anything BUT the glove with your sterile hand
      9. Adjust glove fingers and cuffs – being careful to ONLY touch the outside of the sterile gloves
        1. Don’t touch the inside of the cuff
        2. Don’t touch your arm/wrist
      10. Keep your gloved hands above your waist/below your shoulders at all times
    2. Removing Sterile Gloves
      1. Grasp one glove at wrist with opposite hand and peel off – inside out
      2. Ball up the glove in your gloved hand
      3. Place your fingers inside the cuff and remove the glove over the other glove
      4. Discard gloves in appropriate waste container
      5. Perform hand hygiene

Reference Links

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Video Transcript

In this video we’re going to show you how to apply sterile gloves. In your outline, we’ve given you some basic rules to sterile technique and those all apply here, okay? So let’s get started.

First, open the outer package to get to the glove pack.
Then you’re going to open the glove pack so that the cuff of the gloves is facing toward you – make sure you only touch the outer 1 inch of the package or you will contaminate it
Now you always want to glove your dominant hand first, in this case we’ll start on the right. Grab the cuff ONLY of the right glove and carefully lift it off the paper.
Make sure that the fingers of the glove don’t touch your hand or arm or anything but the paper and carefully slip your hand into the glove. Don’t worry about getting the fingers perfect right now, just do the best you can. You can fix the fingers later if you need to.
Now, your dominant hand is sterile. So you can touch anything in that package! Slip your fingers under the cuff until you have a good grip and lift the other glove off the paper.
Now you want to make sure that your thumb or fingers on your gloved hand don’t touch anything but the outside of the glove at this point. Now you can slip your other hand into the glove.
Once both hands are in the gloves, you can fix any finger issues and pull the cuffs down, again touching only the outside of the gloves.

Now you’re ready to go – keep your hands above your waist and below your shoulders at all times!

I hope this was helpful. This skill really does get better with practice. Now, go out and be your best selves today. And, as always, happy nursing!