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Sterile Technique of Donning Gloves

There are many techniques used to put on sterile gloves, and they vary according to different health care settings. You may not use the same technique each time, but whether you are working in a hospital, a clinical setting, or providing home health care services, you are required to use sterile techniques. Working with burns, wounds, or any type of equipment that makes direct contact with the patient may require that a sterile protocol be maintained. Knowing how to put gloves on correctly without fail will build up confidence for both the staff and the patient.
One way to put on gloves is the sterile technique, or open gloving method. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, and dry them well. Use only clean hands to open the packaging around the sterile gloves. Avoid any type of coughing or sneezing on or near the packages, especially when opening and once the package is opened. Keep the package containing the sterile gloves off to the side, and never work directly over the gloves or in any place where dust or debris is present, like a by a heating register or an open window. Remember that the packaging around the gloves is already sterilized, so use this to move the gloves. Never directly touch the gloves with your hands.

Open the outer wrapper, taking care to only touch the outside portions of the paper or plastic. If there is an individual inner wrapper over the gloves, use that to position the sterile gloves. Set them wrapper side down, on a clean, dry flat surface. If a sterile tray or kit is not available, a table or counter is a great option.
Using your dominant hand, pick up the other glove by the folded cuff and hold it so you can slip your hand in without making contact with the glove's surface. Work your fingers and thumb into position by holding on to the folded cuff, and don't actually touch the glove's surface. The glove may not be perfectly in place at this point. Use the gloved hand to repeat the process on the other hand, keeping the fingers positioned under the fold on the cuff as well. When both hands are gloved you can then complete the adjustments using the folded cuff, to pull the gloves snugly onto the fingers. Once the gloves are in place, be careful to avoid any type of contact with your clothing, surfaces, or any objects until you are ready to start the procedure.


This technique for putting on sterile gloves takes time and practice to perfect. It is important to keep in mind that the outside of the sterile gloves is itself not sterile and should not be used over a sterile area or field. Practice will prevent common problems such as having the sterile gloves roll or twist as you use the cuffs only to position the gloves on your hands. Typically, it is harder to put on the second glove, since you are required to use your non-dominant hand to actually position the glove in place.


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