Key Takeaways

  • Healthcare providers must assess the risk for infection with all clients, every time. Be aware of which types of care, treatments, and procedures require the use of gloves, gowns, respirators, and/or masks to prevent transmission of microorganisms.  
  • The use of PPE will break the chain of transmission and protect clients and healthcare providers from the exposure and spread of microorganism. 
  • Effective use of PPE can interrupt the chain of transmission between clients and staff, staff and clients, and staff and staff, thereby preventing infections.
  • It is important to put on and take off full PPE in the correct order to prevent recontamination and transmission of microorganisms. 
  • Ensure that you wear only the PPE required for the task at hand as it is important to minimize waste of PPE.


  • Gloves are critical for preventing the transmission of microorganisms, and it is important to wear them whenever you are handling bodily fluids. Ensure that gloves are removed and disposed of correctly.


  • Medical masks protect the mucous membranes of the nose and mouth and should be worn during care, treatments, or procedures that may cause splashing or spraying of blood, body fluids, secretions, or excretions; when within 2 meters of a client who is coughing; or when required by routine practices or additional precautions.

N95 Respirators

  • Respirators protect the mucous membranes of the nose and mouth and have a high-filtration material that is more effective than medical masks in protecting the wearer from smaller airborne particles.
  • Respirators are designed to fit snugly. Since faces vary in size and shape, they need to be specifically fitted. Every time a respirator is put on, a seal test must be done.


  • Gowns protect from splashing or spraying of body fluids as well as from the transmission of microorganisms.
  • Gowns should have long sleeves with a snug fit at the wrist, cover both the front and the back of the body from the neck to the thighs, and overlap at the back.
  • Ensure that the gown is worn correctly, and that the ties on the gown are secure. Gowns need to be removed in a way that prevents recontaminating clothes and skin.

Eye Protection

  • Eye protection, including face shields, visors attached to masks, and goggles are used to protect the eyes of healthcare providers when procedures or care activities are likely to cause splashing, spraying of body fluids, or when within 2 metres of a coughing client.


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Introduction to Infection Prevention and Control Practices for the Interprofessional Learner Copyright © by Michelle Hughes; Audrey Kenmir; Oona St-Amant; Caitlin Cosgrove; and Grace Sharpe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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