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Glove awareness logo

Glove Awareness Week

29 April - 3 May 2019

To coincide with World Hand Hygiene Day on 5 May, we are hosting a Glove Awareness Week to raise awareness of skin health and appropriate glove use by nursing staff.

Building on the success of our 2018 pilot week we are expanding our resources to highlight the clinical, financial and environmental impact of inappropriate glove use. 

For our 2019 Week we will continue to promote key messages around appropriate glove and the importance of all healthcare workers understanding when gloves should and shouldn't be worn and how to protect the skin on your hands. 

The RCN Tools of the Trade guidance is a key resource to support education and action to improve glove use and skin health.


Are you glove aware?

Approximately one in five nurses develop hand dermatitis – a painful, debilitating condition which may require nursing staff to be moved out of clinical areas due to the risk of infection and inability to perform hand hygiene as a result of damaged skin.

Hand dermatitis can be caused by frequent exposure to water, cleaning agents and inappropriate glove use.

Over or under use of gloves can put you and your patients at risk of infection. Wearing gloves when not required poses a significant barrier to hand hygiene programmes as gloves may not be changed between patients or procedures, and their use not included within routine hand hygiene observational audits therefore reliable data on which to implement improvement is not available.

Types of glove fall into two main categories – examination and protective. It’s therefore crucial to carry out a risk assessment to decide whether a glove is required, and if so, which type of glove is needed. 

Download our leaflet and poster.

Get involved

More information on further resources and how to order packs for use where you work will be available shortly.

Download our resources

We have designed some simple resources for you to use in your workplace to raise awareness of appropriate glove use - these include a poster, a leaflet and a selfie board. The resources can be used in any way that fits in with your local practice or organisational activity, for example many members are sharing these with their link nurses/champions, or using them as aids for local updates on skin health and glove use.


Glove Awareness Week selfie board thumbnail

Download selfie board

Create a frame for your photographs by cutting out the white area of the selfie board. Use the photos to promote GAW locally or send them to us on social media to share.

External resources

The following links provide Royal College of Nursing members with access to an online learning platform which provide evidence-based information relating to hand dermatitis and its prevention in nurses. Content provided on these platforms are owned by Guy’s and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust and no changes or amendments to the content is allowed without writing permission from them.