During the course of medical work, there will be a lot of times where your hands come into contact with patients. To stop bacteria and infectious diseases spreading between you and protecting both you and the patient, it's important to wear some sort of glove.
With different types of medical gloves available, however, you might be confused as to which one is suitable for which situation. Add in that you also need to guard yourself against harmful medicines and needles at times, and you begin to see how essential it is to get it right. Here are the main types of medical gloves and their features.
Made from a natural rubber, latex gloves are one of the most widely used for all kinds of applications. They're highly suited to a range of ordinary medical uses, such as examinations and first aid treatments, and they're reasonably strong.
However, there are some people who are allergic to vinyl. If you're one of them, this obviously discounts you from using latex gloves, but you should make sure you're aware of your patient's allergies before you begin the examination, so you can use appropriate gloves.
Vinyl gloves offer only light protection, as they're weaker and thinner than latex. This makes them suitable for situations only where you're certain there's no risk associated with contact between you and your patient. As they're free of latex, they won't cause problems for anyone with an allergy.
Nitrile gloves are extremely popular for medical use, and with good reason. They're very strong and durable, and can resist a lot of chemicals you may come into contact with. They also provide puncture resistance, so they're a good choice when working with needles. Nitrile fits the hand closely, helping you maintain good dexterity, and they don't contain any latex.
Because they're resistant to acids and other hazardous chemicals, neoprene gloves are more suited to industrial applications than medical. That said, they're fairly strong against the sort of risks you might face, even if they're not as close-fitting and flexible. If there's no other option for latex-free gloves and you or a patient has a latex allergy, neoprene is a solid choice.
Powder or no powder?
Many gloves are supplied with a powder applied to them, which makes them easier to put on and remove, especially when the hands are sweaty. However, it can cause problems if it gets into wounds, so powdered gloves should be avoided when dealing with cuts and other injuries.