For their study, the investigators observed a random sample of 74 CNAs who were “performing toileting and perineal care at one LTCF” to see how many practiced appropriate glove use, and how many did not. They defined inappropriate glove use as “a failure to change gloves, and when surfaces were touched with contaminated gloves,” and unfortunately, they found that it was a frequent occurrence.
Although the CNAs were observed donning gloves for 80% of “touch points,” 66% of the times where they should have changed their gloves (glove change points), they failed to do so. Over 44% of the gloved touch points were considered by the investigators to be contaminated, “with all contaminated touches being with gloved hands,” according to the press release. The investigators note that gloves were easily accessible throughout the facility “to enhance availability and workflow.”
The investigators utilized a glove use surveillance tool (GUST) to measure inappropriate glove use in their study. This tool considered each type of surface involved, the sequence of touching surfaces while providing care for each patient, if they wore gloves at all, and if they changed them.
“Glove use behavior is as important as handwashing when it comes to infection prevention,” Dr. Burdsall stressed. “These findings indicate that glove use behavior should be monitored alongside hand hygiene. The observations should be shared with staff to improve behaviors and reduce the risk of disease transmission.”
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