Personal Protective Equipment

  • Jill S. Morgan


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.


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


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


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


Resistant to penetration by liquids and small particles


Putting on, as in gloves or clothing


Removing gloves or clothing


Powered air-purifying respirators


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


Awareness of where our body is in space


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


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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