The protective clothing you need during and after a pandemic

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the need for personal protective equipment in the medical and care sector is greater than ever. Centres for disease control have increased in demand, and healthcare workers are working round the clock to provide high-quality care to the UK population.

 

As well as increased demand and hygiene restrictions around nurse uniforms, the government outlined clear protective clothing guidance for health and care workers across the UK. This includes receiving PPE training, using single-use gloves and aprons, practising hand hygiene and reinforcing regular breaks for you and your hard-working team.

 

Here is a guide about the key personal protective equipment (PPE) the government recommends your team use, as well as uniform essentials and some best practices. 

Disposable glovesDisposable gloves
Disposable gloves

Disposables

The updated government advice on disposable PPE equipment superseded that of previous advice and your hospital trust should have updated you on the new rules.

In general wear

You may have been advised to wear disposable gloves and plastic aprons at all times whilst in the hospital wards. The advice outlined by WHO recommends that in areas with no identified possible or confirmed cases, the use of protective clothing should be risk assessed by the hospital. This risk assessment should be dependent on the intensity of COVID-19 transmission in the local context and nature of the care undertaken on a case by case basis.

In Aerosol Generating Procedures

Disposable gloves, a long-sleeved disposal fluid repellent gown or coveralls and an FFP3 filtering facepiece are recommended during any aerosol-generating procedures on suspected or confirmed cases.

In Higher Risk Acute Patient Care Areas

Full protective clothing, including head protection, should be used in high-risk patient areas at all times. Gloves and polythene aprons must be single-use with disposal after each patient contact to minimise cross-contamination.

Disposable Gloves

Alexandra stocks medically-approved, vat-exempt PPE disposable gloves to form a protective barrier when helping patients.

  • Medical-grade AQL 1.5 disposable gloves – These latex-free gloves conform to regulation EN455, protecting both you and your patients. They have a smooth finish for easy application and removal.

Face Masks

Patients

It is recommended that patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases wear face masks. This helps to reduce transmission risk and environmental contamination. Patients should wear a mask until damp or uncomfortable. Face masks should not be worn by patients whose clinical care would otherwise be compromised, for example when receiving oxygen therapy.

For hospital staff

Hospital staff should wear a fluid-resistant (Type IIR) surgical facemask (FRSM) when in inpatient areas containing possible or confirmed COVID-19 cases. It is best practise to dispose of your surgical mask in between each patient interaction, ensuring good hand hygiene after each patient visit.

P3 moulded half mask with valveP3 moulded half mask with valve
P3 moulded half mask with valve

Hand Hygiene

Prior to the pandemic, it was common to practise cleaning your hands in between ward visits and when entering ICU. However, since the spread of COVID-19, extended hand hygiene recommendations have been outlined for both the general public and medical staff as good hand hygiene is essential in preventing the spread of the disease. 

Here are the UK’s latest recommendations for hand hygiene in hospitals and medical centres:

  • You should use liquid soap and water to wash your hands between patient interactions
  • Hands should be under running water for at least 20 seconds, with 20 seconds of scrubbing including behind the nails and the backs of your hands
  • Hand hygiene should be extended to exposed forearms
  • Hands should be washed after removing any PPE, including gloves and disposable aprons
  • All staff need to wash hands before and after a shift, especially for staff members travelling on public transport
  • Hand hygiene must always be performed after clinical waste disposal
  • Hand hygiene must always be performed before removing nebulisers and oxygen masks

If soap and water aren’t readily available where you’re working – for example as paramedics or care workers on call – then hand sanitiser can be used for infection prevention and control so long as it contains at least 60% alcohol

Hand Sanitiser (125ml) 70% ALCOHOL KILLS 99.9% BACHand Sanitiser (125ml) 70% ALCOHOL KILLS 99.9% BAC
Hand Sanitiser (125ml) 70% ALCOHOL KILLS 99.9% BAC

Scrubs

As entire wards throughout the UK have been dedicated to coronavirus patients, you and your team are working longer and harder than ever before. Nurse uniforms are in high demand as retired staff members return to work and extra shifts put pressure on scrub cleaning. 

 

Our scrubs offer you a sterilised outfit which gives minimal risk for contamination. It also helps to easily identify you as a member of staff within a hospital, medical centre or infection prevention and control centre.

Scrubs are usually a solid blue colour and worn as a tunic and trouser combination, but the option to wear a scrub top is also available. Most of our scrubs can be washed at 60 degrees, to ensure greater infection control.

If you work in the medical sector then head over to Alexandra, the UK’s largest supplier of medical workwear. Alexandra stocks a large range of scrubs and PPE here.

 

Unisex Contrast Trim Scrubs by AlexandraUnisex Contrast Trim Scrubs by Alexandra
Unisex Contrast Trim Scrubs