Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is mandated by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) for all healthcare professionals, including phlebotomists. It's important to adhere to PPE requirements to prevent contamination and the spread of infections.
The environment the phlebotomist works in will determine the extent of PPE that's required. PPE includes gloves, gowns, lab coats, masks, goggles, face shields, and respirators.
Phlebotomists in a clinical environment will generally wear a lab coat or scrub uniform and gloves. Gloves should be put on before touching the patient and discarded in the proper aseptic manner after venipuncture.
The inpatient hospital environment requires additional PPE due to higher risk of infection. In general, phlebotomists are required to wear gloves, gowns and masks when entering rooms of patients with compromised immune systems, including newborns.
The proper order of hospital PPE dressing is:
Gown first Mask second Gloves last, and pulled over the cuffs of the gown
When removing PPE, the order is reversed. Hands should be washed thoroughly before moving on to the next patient.
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