You’ve put on your favorite brand of mask and tossed on a new pair of disposable gloves, which means you’re protected, compliant, and ready to see your first patient, right? Not necessarily. Just because you have a mask on, doesn’t mean you’re wearing it correctly. Just because you have hard soled shoes, doesn’t mean they’re the right kind of hard soled shoes. The diagrams below offer quick tips on how to avoid the “wrong way” and embrace the “right way” to dress, in order to be fully OSHA compliant and achieve maximum infection control success.
“Not Like That:” The WRONG Way to Dress for Proper Infection Control
- Mask Placement: Your mask should be worn over your nose, not under it, so that it covers both your nose and your chin. The nose of the mask should be pinched.
- Protective Eyewear: Always wear safety glasses. If you have prescription glasses but not a prescription face shield, your prescription glasses may be worn along with side shields.
- Hairstyle: Hair should be worn up and back, versus down and loose.
- Scrubs: A scrub jacket is ideal. If you don’t have one available, a tight-fitting, long sleeve, high-necked shirt should be worn beneath your scrub top to limit the amount of exposed skin.
- Jewelry: If you’re lucky enough to have a big rock on your left hand, congratulations! It’s best to safely stow away rings during office hours, however, as they have a tendency to break through gloves. Dangling necklaces and earrings should also be avoided.
- Arm Placement: Once you have your gloves on, keep your hands at your sides. If your arms are crossed – as pictured above – the gloves may become contaminated.
- Footwear: Open toe sandals should never be worn in the office. The ideal footwear is a pair of close toe, plain tennis shoes.
“Like This:” The RIGHT Way to Dress for Proper Infection Control
- Hairstyle: Hair is secured and pulled up and back. (There are plenty of fashionable, easy to execute up-do ideas available to keep things interesting!)
- Protective Eyewear: Safety glasses are on, and are the proper fit for the size of the face.
- Mask Placement: Mask covers both the nose and the chin. Mask is pinched around the bridge of the nose.
- Jewelry: No dangling jewelry or rings are worn.
- Scrubs: Scrub jacket is worn. This is ideal because scrub jackets can be easily removed and placed immediately in a bag, keeping all spatter contained and avoiding cross-contamination.
- Gloves: Gloves are pulled over the cuffs of the sleeves. Nails are short and clean.
- Footwear: Close toe, plain tennis shoes are worn. Laces are secured.
Taking the proper precautions when it comes to infection control is essential to protecting yourself, your patients, and your fellow team members. Besides following these simple styling tips, you can visit this page to read about additional products and recommendations for keeping your practice OSHA compliant. We hope these style suggestions leave you feeling confident about your compliance! If you have any questions about which products are featured in the diagrams above, feel free to let us know in the comments section.
6 thoughts on “Like This, Not Like That: How to Dress for Infection Control Success”
what about finger nails !
Yes Ma’am, Maureen! Definitely an important one 🙂 We included it in #4 in the “right way” column: short and clean nails are very important! Thanks so much for reading.
Great Article !!
Thanks so much, Beth! We appreciate your readership, and of course, your positive feedback 🙂
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