This review will demonstrate how to put on and remove a face mask!
When applying a face mask and removing it, the nurse wants to take specific steps to ensure their safety. This review will cover the following information:
- Common mistakes people make when applying or wearing a face mask
- Tips for putting on a face mask
- Demonstration on how to apply a face mask and remove a face mask
Tutorial for How to Don and Doff a Face Mask PPE
First, let’s talk about some common mistakes people make when applying or wearing a face mask:
- Wear the mask under the nose rather than over the nose
- Fail to seal the top of the mask around the nose and cheeks
- Fail to pull the mask under the chin
- Wear the mask upside down or backwards
- Touch the front of the mask while performing patient care and during removal (this part of the mask is contaminated…more on this below)
Tips for Putting on a Face Mask
Determining the top of the mask from the bottom? Most face masks (like the one shown in the video) will have a metal nose piece sewn inside the material. The nose piece will feel firm and be flexible. Therefore, to find this nose piece, feel along the edges of the mask. The area that contains the nose piece is the top of the mask that will be molded over the bridge of the nose.
Determining the front side of the mask from the back side? It’s important to note that face mask manufactures may vary in how they design their masks. Therefore, always read their instructions before use. For example, some masks have a blue side and white. In most cases, the blue side will be on the outside of the face.
In this video, I’m using a face mask that has the same colored sides. You can use the following methods for this mask to determine the front side of the mask from the back side by doing the following:
- Check where the inserts of the ear loops are located on the mask: The side where the ear loops are sewn in will be the side that goes over the face (again this varies on how the manufacture designed mask). dd d
- Assess the pleats of the mask: The side of the face mask where the pleats point downward, this is the outside of the mask. Whereas the side of the face mask where the pleats point upward, this is the inside of the mask.
How to Put On (Don) a Face Mask
- Perform hand hygiene.
- When using a face mask with ear loops, secure an ear loop over an ear.
- Then place the other ear loop over the other ear.
- Then grasp the nose piece of the mask and bring it to cover the bridge of the nose.
- Mold the nose piece of the face mask with the fingertips of both hands by starting at the bridge of the nose and work outward toward the cheekbones.
- Then grasp the nose piece of the face mask.
- Then pull the bottom of the mask under chin.
Note: During application of the face mask your hands should be clean since you performed hand hygiene before putting it on. Therefore, at this time you can touch the front of the mask to fit it to your face. HOWEVER, once you enter the patient care area or a public setting you can no longer touch the front of the mask because it may be contaminated. It is very important that you do NOT touch the front of the mask during removal as well.
How to Take Off (Doff) a Face Mask
Do NOT touch the front of the mask to remove the face mask. It is considered contaminated. Instead, remove the face mask by grasping the ear loops.
- Take the index finger of each hand and grasp the ear loops from behind the ears.
- Pull the face mask forward off the face to remove the face mask.
- Dispose or clean/reuse the face mask per your facility’s protocol.
- Perform hand hygiene.