Nitrile gloves are used in a variety of medical and dental situations. These gloves provide a layer of barrier protection that keeps the user safe. Nitrile gloves come in a variety of colors, sizes, thickness. Nitrile exam gloves also come in both sterile vs. non sterile varieties. It is important to understand when to use which based on different scenarios.
What Are Sterile Nitrile Gloves?
Sterile nitrile gloves are latex-free, powder-free, and contain no natural rubber. These nitrile exam gloves do not contain any materials that can cause an allergic reaction in some people with latex or skin sensitivities.
All nitrile exam gloves are sterilized and meet FDA standards, so they can be considered sterile. These nitrile gloves must meet the FDA's standards for sterilization which must have a lower accepted quality limit in addition to a stricter sterility assurance level.
When Should Sterile Nitrile Gloves Be Used?
Sterile nitrile exam gloves should be used for certain medical procedures, such as surgery to prevent the spread of infection from one patient to another. These nitrile gloves are also commonly used by lab technicians who work with dangerous chemicals or in a research environment where there is likely contamination that could infect other people working on the same project.
How To Put On Sterile Nitrile Gloves?
- Ensure that all hands and fingers are completely empty of all jewelry. This includes any rings, bracelets, watches or bands that could potentially catch on to the nitrile gloves resulting in a tear.
- With all hand and wrist jewelry removed, wash both hands thoroughly with warm water and soap for the recommended 30 seconds. If water & hand soap is not available, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol by volume can be used as an alternative to hand washing.
- With the disinfected hands, carefully remove the sterile gloves from their sterilized packaging. Be sure to remove the gloves without touching the other layer of the gloves.
- Navigate the packaging to allow the user to put the hand in the glove ensuring that only the inner part is in contact with the user. Make sure to only be in contact with the inner part of the glove.
- Repeat the same process with the second hand ensuring that only the inner part of the glove is being touched.
When Should Non Sterile Nitrile Gloves Be Used?
In most situations, non sterile nitrile exam gloves can be used. Most workplaces do not require sterile environment and regular nitrile gloves can be used. For any type of medical procedure, it is best practice to enquire if sterile gloves are required. These scenarios are usually explicit about the need for sterile gloves. Sterile gloves also tend to be more expensive, so ensure that sterile nitrile gloves are actually required.
Do Nail Salons & Tattoo Parlors Require Sterile Gloves?
In most cases, non-sterile nitrile gloves will be sufficient for these types of businesses. The non sterile nitrile exam gloves are considered adequate enough to prevent cross-contamination in the nail salon or tattoo parlor. This is due to there being little contact with bodily fluids and surfaces that may contain pathogens within the establishment. Nitrile gloves provide a barrier between any external material and the worker's hands while still allowing them to perform their duties without getting hurt from sharp objects or chemicals present on surfaces like acrylic nails, etc. However, it is best practice to enquire if skin penetration materials (like needles) are used at your business location before deciding on using regular nitrile exam gloves.