Appropriate glove selection and use: Clinical considerations for perioperative personnel


Prevention of infection for both surgical patients and healthcare workers is a primary objective for perioperative personnel; improvements in infection control practices can reduce the incidence of healthcare-associated infections and exposure to communicable disease. The appropriate selection and use of gloves in the perioperative practice environment is a key infection control practice. Therefore, nurses and other perioperative personnel should be knowledgeable about the key considerations in selecting gloves that are appropriate for the various tasks they perform in their patient care activities on a daily basis.

This continuing education activity will provide a brief historical review of the evolution of the use of gloves as a protective barrier and several important issues related to gloving. The various types of materials used to manufacture gloves will be presented. The protective qualities of examination and surgical gloves currently used in the clinical practice settings will be explored, including a review of glove barrier properties, strength, durability, and other very important characteristics.

The current recommendations by regulatory agencies and professional associations for glove manufacturing and glove usage also will be outlined. Specific criteria for the selection and use of examination and surgical gloves will be presented. Finally, selected case studies will provide the participant with the opportunity to synthesize the information and evaluate workplace scenarios with regard to appropriate glove selection and use.



Upon completion of this continuing education activity, the participant should be able to:

  1. Discuss important issues related to the selection and use of gloves in the clinical practice setting.
  2. Describe the various materials used to manufacture medical gloves.
  3. Identify the important physical requirements and properties of medical gloves.
  4. Discuss the recommendations for glove manufacture and use outlined by regulatory agencies and professional organizations.
  5. Cite key criteria for appropriate glove selection.
  6. Critique workplace scenarios regarding appropriate glove selection and use.


Intended audience

This continuing education activity is intended for perioperative nurses, surgical technologists, and other healthcare professionals who participate in surgical or invasive procedures and are interested in learning more about appropriate glove selection and use for the various patient care activities encountered in the surgical practice setting.

Content shown provided by Pfiedler Enterprises. Full references are available within the CE program, accessible via the link above.