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Sustainable glove use: protecting your hands while protecting the planet

New online resource helps members understand the principles and practice of sustainable glove use while looking after their skin

Health care professional putting on gloves

Launched today (29 July), the Non Sterile Disposable Glove Use Fundamentals resource has been designed by the RCN in collaboration with nursing staff and NHS England. 

Complementing our existing skin health and glove awareness resources, the course will cover: 

  • The principles and practice of glove use — why and when to wear gloves, donning and doffing guidance and contamination transfer.
  • How to make one change to make your own glove use more sustainable.
  • Key information and resources to help users recognise and understand skin health issues. 

The Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is free to access and designed for all staff and care settings. Participants can collaborate with others to reduce inappropriate glove use and better care for their skin. 

RCN Professional Lead for Infection Prevention and Control, Rose Gallagher, said: 

“Our own Glove Awareness Week each year highlights the importance of the appropriate use of gloves as well as the how their over-use can lead to long-term and sometimes permanent damage to the hands and undermine hand hygiene. 

“This new course is simple to follow and will play an important role in helping nursing staff to understand the best ways to reduce glove use where safe to do as well as sharing best practice. 

“I would encourage all nursing staff, whatever setting they work in to take the time to follow the course and help to make their own contribution to the unnecessary use of examination gloves. 

“By protecting our hands, we can also play our part in protecting the planet.”