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Nursing

Personal Protective Equipment

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should be used during routine practices for high-risk respiratory procedures or when entering the room of a patient isolated for a droplet transmitted organism. You must wear the following pieces of equipment:

  • Eye protection (goggles or splash shield)
  • Mask
  • Gown
  • Gloves

Routine Practices for High-Risk Respiratory Procedures

Examples of high-risk respiratory procedures include:

  • nebulized therapies
  • aerosol humidification
  • non-invasive ventilation (e.g. CPAP, BiPAP)
  • disconnecting ventilators & disposing filters
  • bag-valve mask ventilation
  • endotracheal intubation
  • airway suctioning
  • sputum induction

Important: Routine Practices apply to all patient secretions, excretions, non-intact skin and mucous membranes. 

Remove items in the following order:

  1. Remove gloves and discard. 
  2. Remove gown; place in dirty laundry hamper. 
  3. Perform hand hygiene.
  4. Remove eye protection using the straps. Discard face shield. 
  5. Remove mask using the straps and discard. 
  6. Perform hand hygiene.

N95 Respirator

  • Acts as a barrier to prevent inhalation of small airborne aerosols
  • Forms a tight seal between edge of respirator and the face

N95 Respirator Fit Testing

  • Fit testing for N95 respirators is conducted to confirm a good facial fit
  • The wearer must also conduct a “fit check” each time the N95 is donned to ensure an adequate facial seal
  • All staff with direct patient contact, facilities staff, and staff handling hazardous drugs must be fit tested and prepared to wear an N95 respirator. Please contact Occupational Health and Safety Services to inquire about fit testing dates and times.

When do you need to wear an N95 respirator?

  • Airborne precautions required (e.g. patient with active TB)
  • Caring for a patient with acute varicella (chicken pox), disseminated zoster (shingles), or measles and you do not have immunity.
  • Performing aerosol-generating procedure on a patient with febrile respiratory illness
  • Enhanced precautions needed to prevent the spread of SARS, H1N1 ...
  • Administering aerosolized medication (e.g. ribavirin or pentamidine).
  • During electrocautery or laser surgery, if smoke evacutors are not fully effective in controlling the smoke plume.
  • Handling hazardous drugs including chemotherapy, in a way that may generate aerosolization (unless you are working in biosafety cabinet)
  • Cleaning up spills of hazardous drugs
  • If recommended by occupation hygienist to prevent inhaling a chemical or biological agent
  • Refer to the N95 protection program policy