One of the most important things for healthcare, dental, and lab workers today is Choosing the Right Glove. When selecting an examination glove, there are a few things to consider:
This is the prime reason you wear gloves. Therefore, choose the gloves that best protect you for the task you are to perform. While working in a high-risk environment where you may be in contact with blood borne pathogens or hazardous substances, wear good quality latex or nitrile exam gloves. Vinyl exam gloves can be used in non-high risk applications.
Your exam gloves should also fit you well and feel comfortably. Latex gloves, due to its high level of elasticity and memory, fit the user hands very well. Nitrile gloves vary in softness and flexibility. Some are comfortable and fit well, whereas some are stiff and not flexible. Vinyl gloves are usually baggy in fit, but are soft and comfortable.
Are you allergic to latex? Are your co-workers allergic to latex? Do you work in a latex-free environment? Latex allergies have become a concern, especially in the healthcare industry. If you are sensitive to latex, avoid all latex products altogether and use only non-latex exam gloves, such as nitrile and vinyl gloves. If you choose to use latex gloves, you should only use powder free latex gloves with reduced protein content.
On the other hand, if you suffer from Type IV Chemical Hypersensitivity, switching from latex gloves to non-latex gloves may not alleviate the situation, because these chemicals are added in the process of making all types of gloves including both latex and non-latex.
Finally, there is always the question of cost versus quality. Should you buy the cheapest gloves you can find and constantly worry if they will tear, rip and pinholes, or should you choose the most expensive gloves available? Well, you should first take into consideration the above factors in choosing your gloves, and then select the acceptable quality standards at the best value you can get. Latex gloves and vinyl gloves are generally very affordable. Nitrile gloves, polyurethane gloves and other synthetic gloves are usually more costly.