As a nurse, you’ll be putting on gloves many times per day. In my last video and article, I talked about the technique of how to put on sterile gloves. In this article and video, I’ll talk about a quick technique on how to take off sterile gloves, so that you can prevent contamination or contact with dangerous germs/pathogens.
The Importance of Removing Latex or Sterile Gloves Properly
Just as it is important to carefully put on sterile gloves so as to prevent contamination to the patient, it is also just as important to properly remove your gloves so that you can help prevent contamination to yourself.
As a nurse, you’ll be working with patients infected with HIV/AIDS, MRSA, C-Diff, and various other dangerous bacterial or viral germs. You’ll come into contact with just about every body fluid imaginable: Blood, mucus, spit, vomit, stool/feces, urine, etc.
These body fluids (and skin contact) can contain pathogens that pose an “occupational hazard” to the nurse, and it is just part of the job.
Therefore, to prevent unnecessary contamination, you’ll want to carefully remove your gloves after caring for the patient. Then follow complete the step with good hand hygiene.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that it can be very easy to contaminate yourself–even without thinking about it. If your eye or nose gets an itch, you may totally forget that you’re wearing contaminated gloves. Thus, a simple scratch of your eye or nose could cause a major risk of infection with a particular pathogen.
There are many different “types” of gloves that you can use as a nurse: Latex/rubber gloves, nitrile gloves, and vinyl gloves. Of course, sterile gloves are gloves with an extra-long cuff and special packaging to prevent contamination.
All of these gloves can essentially be removed in the same way. In my video demonstration below, I’m removing sterile latex gloves.
How to Remove Latex/Sterile Gloves
To remove your medical gloves, take your non-dominant gloved hand and grab the other glove around the cuff, grabbing it close to the end. Use a pinching motion to grab it. Make sure to avoid touching your arm or scrubs. I like to leave a little room towards the end of the glove so that I make sure I won’t touch my skin.
Next, pull the glove completely off your hand, and carefully wad up the glove (in a ball shape) into your non-dominant hand (the hand with the glove still on). Now take your dominant hand (the one you just removed the glove from), and carefully slide your fingers under the back end of the remaining glove. Carefully grab hold of the inside of the glove as you slide it off, and be sure to pull it over the other glove that you have wadded up in your hand.
Pay close attention that you do not touch the exterior of the glove. The idea is to flip the gloves inside-out so that you won’t have to touch the contaminated exterior.
Now you can carefully dispose of the gloves according to the protocol of your hospital or employer. Be sure to follow-up with good hand cleaning hygiene practices.
Video on How to Remove Sterile Gloves
Here is a quick video that demonstrates the technique to remove medical or sterile gloves: