1.3.8 Routine/Standard Practices and Precautions

Routine or standard precautions refers to the basic infection control measures recommended in all health care facilities to reduce the potential of pathogen transmission, which causes infections.

Handwashing is the first step in all patient care procedures in health care facilities. Hands are always washed prior to putting on and after removing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Please refer to chapter 2 for information about handwashing technique. You should also be able to recall easily the five moments of hand hygiene in your professional practice.

As you know hand hygiene is the most important step in the process of infection prevention. Committing to memory the 5 moments of hand hygiene as outlined by the World Health Organization will increase your proficiency in preventing infection transmission.

Practice Makes Perfect

After reviewing the WHO document linked above, try to answer the following questions correctly:

Once your hands are washed, you will need to don the following PPE when following routine precautions:

  • Gloves are worn when you are expecting potential contact with body fluids or during care to those in isolation/precautions. They are to be removed and discarded after care on one patient only.
  • Gowns are worn when there is a possibility of uniform soiling or during isolations/precautions, and are discarded if paper or washed if cloth.
  • Masks are worn during anticipated respiratory contact to prevent breathing in of droplets or air transmitted pathogens. Masks are thrown out after each use.
  • Shields/goggles are worn to protect the eyes from body fluids and matter and are cleaned or discarded after each use.

Key Takeaway

You will need to follow your employer’s policies regarding PPE use, so make sure that you locate and review them carefully, and that you follow them to the letter.


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