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When Should Sterile Gloves Be Worn? Here is the Answer!

Fact checked by A. Thompson

when should sterile gloves be worn

Sterile gloves are formulated to meet the FDA standards regarding their sterilization requirements. So, for tasks that require sterile gloves, workers have to make sure the gear conforms to such standards and qualifications.

The question “when should sterile gloves be worn?” might be asked by workers who want to ensure safety issues. In that case, they should be aware that the World Health Organization (WHO) states the need for gloves to reduce the risk of contamination upon direct contact.

For more details about the applications of sterile gloves in certain lines of work, read on!

When Should You Wear Sterile Gloves


Sterile gloves are required for surgical procedures – Medical gloves or sterile gloves must be worn for open wound operations. Wearing sterile gloves is necessary to avoid surgical site infections, protecting patients’ health. Also, they are required to prevent blood and body fluid exposure for workers in the healthcare services.

In detail, the application of sterile gloves is indispensable in duties involving body fluids, non-intact skin, blook, mucous membranes, or any infectious areas and substances. And, the main purpose of wearing sterile gloves is to protect both healthcare workers and the patients.

Sterile gloves are for treating infectious diseases – As a form of infection control, sterile gloves must be worn to avoid the exposure and transmissions of potential bacterias and viruses. The medical gear plays the role of shielding communicable diseases upon contact of healthcare workers and patients. Those infectious diseases include HIV, hepatitis B and C, and AIDS, etc.

Safe Usage of Sterile Gloves

The importance of sterile gloves in medical services is undeniable. Thus we should abide by specific rules and guides for safety.

  • Wear form-fitting gloves. Dexterity is among the functions we should pay attention to when selecting a suitable pair for medical duties. We must have the utmost freedom of finger movements and sensitivity when wearing sterile gloves.
  • Follow hand hygiene requirements. We must wash our hands thoroughly and don sterile gloves the right way.
  • Use latex-free sterile gloves. Allergic reactions to latex are common, so we should ensure the patient is safe by using latex and powder-free gloves.
  • Wear a mask. Most medical tasks require wearing a mask. So make sure you put the mask on before wearing your sterile gloves.

Donning Sterile Glove Technique

In case you perform any care for people and want to avoid the transmission of body fluids and contamination, here’s the step-by-step guide to ensure a safe donning sterile gloves process.

Step 1: Arrange a clean space

You should not allow the presence of any people or pets in your working space. So, finding a quiet and isolated place is critical to avoid any interruption or intrusion.

Clean the space thoroughly if the current state of your working space is not up to the standard. Make sure you clean both surfaces with detergent and dry them. For curtains or any areas that can be cleaned, you can dust them with a wet towel.

Step 2: Thoroughly wash hands

Before washing your hands, make sure you take all the jewelry off, including rings and bracelets. If you wear long-sleeve shirts, fold the sleeves up at least 3 inches above your elbow. But it is better if you wear a short-sleeved shirt.

As you prepare hand soap (preferably in liquid form), you can wet your hands and wrist, then use the soap to wash thoroughly.

Scrub your fingers, nails, and wrists carefully for at least 30 seconds. Now, point your hands downward and start rinsing under the running water.

Take the clean towel to dry your hands, then use it to turn off the water. Do not touch anything else other than the medical supplies. If you accidentally touch other things, please rewash your hands.

Step 3: Take out the gloves and wear them

You can take the wrap of the sterile gloves off and put them on a dry and clean surface.

For the first glove, you can use the other hand to grab at the edge of the glove cuff and put your hand inside it. Keep your hand and thumb straight when tucking every finger in.

Please do not touch the outside of the glove in the process and keep the cuff folded for easy taking off later.

You can do the same with the other glove. Make sure you stretch the gloves nicely to fit well without space between fingers and the materials.

Step 4: Proceed with the tasks with caution

After finishing wearing the gloves, you must not touch anything besides the sterile supplies and areas. It is vital to keep your hands at least 6 inches above the waist level.

Again, if you accidentally touch anything, just remove the gloves. You can open another sterile pair and wear it. This time, please be thorough.

How to Take Off Sterile Gloves


After the procedures are finished, it’s time to remove the gloves. And, here’re the steps you should follow:

Step 1: As you leave the edge of the cuff folded, it will be easy to take off the pair. Now, start with one hand gripping the edge and turning the piece inside out.

Step 2: You can tuck the taken-off glove inside the other hand. Then, proceed to take the other glove off by sliding your fingers to the inside of the piece and pull.

Step 3: After peeling both ones off, make sure you dispose of them both in a medical waste can.

Step 4: After throwing the gloves away, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly. It is essential you use antimicrobial soap this time.

Other Safety Measures for Disposable Sterile Gloves

  • You must change your gloves immediately if they are punctured, or worse, ripped.
  • Do not use the same pair to perform care for different patients. Such an action is against regulation for healthcare services, as it poses the risk of fluid transmission.

Do We Need Sterile Gloves to Remove a Dressing

No, we do not. According to The National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine, used dressings should be disposed of in separate clinical waste bags. And when removing them, we need to wash our hands and wear non-sterile gloves.

Can We Sanitize Sterile Gloves for Reusing

No, we must not. After the tasks are finished, please discard the sterile gloves immediately and classify them as medical waste. We should never make any attempt to sanitize the gear for other uses.

Are Nitrile Exam Gloves Sterile

Nitrile gloves can be sterile, non-sterile, or powdered. This depends on the manufacturing and testing process. Please only use gloves that are classified as sterile gloves which meet FDA standards.


Hopefully, you now know the answer to the question, “When should sterile gloves be worn?” More importantly, we offer detailed guides and safety measures regarding donning sterile gloves. Please make sure you follow the regulations carefully to avoid any risks and dangers for your patient and yourself.

Also, picking the right pair of gloves for your work is essential. You can check more of our posts for further info. Reach out to us regarding any related issues. Thank you for reading!

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