The use of PPE in the healthcare industry isn’t anything new, but never before has its use been more important or more in the news than during the COVID-19 pandemic. Plenty of people outside of the healthcare industry may never have even heard of the term PPE (personal protective equipment). As a healthcare worker, PPE is one of the most important elements/pieces of equipment in your job. Why is it so important? Let’s take a look at what PPE does and how it helps healthcare workers.
PPE Has a Basic Yet Important Job – Create a Barrier
In describing why PPE is so important to healthcare workers, it’s a very basic yet vital answer. All personal protective equipment works as a barrier between the person wearing the items, and germs. This helps to protect healthcare workers who are in regular contact and at risk of being exposed to all kinds of germs, not just COVID-19.
To take it a step further, proper PPE also helps to prevent the spread of germs in a healthcare environment. This includes such things as clinics, doctor’s offices, hospitals and long-term care homes. When the healthcare worker is wearing PPE, they are keeping themselves safe, as well as the patients they are tending to.
What Are the Most Common Types of PPE Worn?
Something that you may find surprising is just how many types of PPE exist. There are all kinds of different pieces you can wear to stay safe but, in general, healthcare workers tend to use a few essential pieces. These pieces include:
- Eye protection, which includes goggles and/or a face shield
- Masks that must fully cover the nose and mouth
- PPE clothing, which includes such things as a head covering, apron, shoe covers or a full gown
The items that are worn usually come down to the environment the healthcare worker is based in, what the health and safety regulations are, what you may be coming into contact with, and the patients.
Tips for Buying Your PPE
For healthcare workers that are responsible for purchasing their PPE, there are several things to consider. This can include the level of protection the item offers, the fit of the PPE and the budget. It will also need to be approved and government tested so that it meets safety regulations. Also, you’ll need to consider whether you want one-time use items or reusables. Check out MIP’s isolation gowns to get an idea of what items can be used more than once.
It’s very common for those who provide home care to need to find a reliable and trusted place to buy their PPE. This also means you want to take your time and do the research, making sure you’re getting top quality products.
PPE – a Healthcare Worker’s Key Piece of Equipment
While there are plenty of items and tools that are essential for healthcare workers to do their job, PPE is right there near the top of the list as it is that vital to the health and well-being of the worker as well as the patients they work with.