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Personal Protective Equipment

  • Jill S. Morgan
Chapter

Abstract

Mindfulness may not be a term usually associated with personal protective equipment (PPE), but it is a useful concept for the discussion of putting together, layer by layer, the protective barriers that allow the safe provision of care for patients with highly hazardous communicable diseases. Each piece of the full PPE ensemble will have limitations that must be understood by the wearer. Close and careful attention to behaviors in the patient care environment becomes good PPE etiquette. Donning, or putting on PPE, carefully and fully before attending to a patient’s needs is fundamental but not intuitive. Removing PPE is a high-risk procedure that can be performed safely with practice, coaching, and observation. Mitigating risk depends on awareness to all areas of potential contamination and a mindful approach to delivering safe patient care.

Keywords

Personal protective equipment (PPE) Healthcare worker (HCW) Powered air-purifying respirators (PAPR) Alcohol-based hand rubs Trained observer Aerosol generating Proprioception Mindfulness Inoculation 

Key Terms

PPE

Personal protective equipment, specifically that worn or used by healthcare providers during patient care

HCW

Healthcare worker, may be physician, nurse, therapist, or laboratorian

Impervious

Resistant to penetration by liquids and small particles

Don(ning)

Putting on, as in gloves or clothing

Doff(ing)

Removing gloves or clothing

PAPR

Powered air-purifying respirators

ABHR

Alcohol-based hand rubs

Trained Observer

A person familiar with procedures and protocols, especially donning and doffing, whose role is to watch other staff for compliance while they perform those procedures

Aerosol generating

Procedures or acts that may produce very small droplets of body fluids

Proprioception

Awareness of where our body is in space

Mindfulness

Focusing one’s attention at the present, being aware of one’s situation and surroundings

Inoculation

The introduction of a microorganism into a person or organism

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Serious Communicable Disease UnitEmory University HospitalAtlantaUSA

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