Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Clinical Skill Information Sheet
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
To safely and effectively demonstrate adherence to paramedic PPE principles
PPE is required when attending all patients. The type of PPE used will be specific to
the health and safety risks identified on an individual case basis.
Work Health and Safety legislation in South Australia states that all workers must take
reasonable care to protect their own safety while at work.
PPE includes a variety of physical barriers that protect a clinician from blood, airborne
pathogens and other bodily substances. PPE not only protects the clinician but also
the patient by reducing the likelihood of cross-transmission of disease. Paramedics
therefore are required to understand and use PPE to avoid health risks to patients and
Be aware that PPE often offers the least effective way of mitigating the risk of
exposure. In some cases completely avoiding exposure by not entering a scene is
more appropriate. This emphasises that the individual should continually undertake
thorough risk assessments when carrying out daily work practices.
Examples of PPE
 Eye protection (goggles, glasses)
 Body protection (Aprons, gowns, high visibility garments, helmets)
 Hand protection (Gloves)
 Breathing protection (respirators (P2, N95), face masks)
 Hearing protection (Earplugs)
 Foot protection (Enclosed shoes)
 Substances (Alcohol gel, sunscreen, hand washing and hygiene)
Bachelor of Paramedic Science 2015
Clinical Skill Information Sheet
For most effective
protection, the correct
sequence should be
followed when
donning full PPE.
However, individual
PPE should be
selected to suit
patient’s presentation
and environment.
1. Ensure hands are thoroughly clean by
either washing with warm soapy water or
using alcohol gel, such as Aqium.
2. Gown: put on gown and ensure it is
completely secure by tying it up at the
back of your neck and waist.
Hand washing is
always performed
first to eliminate cross
You may need
someone else to help
tie the back of your
Putting on
There are different
types of facemasks
for different face
shapes. When using
a face mask, gaining
a tight seal around
the face is vital for
protection against
airborne diseases.
3. Facemask: slip elastic bands over your
head and ensure the edges of the mask
are flat against your face by first pressing
it firmly around your nose and then work
down the sides of the mask to your chin.
Ensure protective
eyewear meets
Australian safety
Gloves should
overlap the gown so
that exposure to
fluids and pathogens
is reduced.
Appropriate footwear
is important to ensure
protection from bodily
fluids, sharps and
dangerous objects.
4. Protective eyewear: put on goggles and
ensure they fit securely over the top of
your mask permitting uninterrupted vision
and full protection of eye area.
5. Gloves: slip hands into gloves and ensure
a snug fit which covers your hands up to
your wrists and permits free movement of
fingers whilst maintaining tactile
Bachelor of Paramedic Science 2015
Clinical Skill Information Sheet
To minimise the risk
of self-contamination,
the correct sequence
should be followed
when doffing full
Taking off
1. Protective eyewear: carefully remove
2. Facemask: remove facemask by grasping
the bottom of the mask with two hands
and carefully lifting it up and over your
Ensure you remove
PPE slowly and
carefully to reduce
spread of
contamination on
other surfaces.
3. Gown: either have your partner untie the
back or rip the ties of the gown yourself.
Pull the gown forward and peel each arm
off one at a time.
By using this glove
removal technique
you will only ever
come into contact
with the inside of
each glove.
4. Gloves: remove gloves by holding the cuff
of the glove with one hand and peel it
over your other hand then stop halfway.
Do the same with the other hand and
remove until only your fingertips are
covered. Place your thumb of the first
hand inside the other glove and pull both
gloves off together. (See pictures below
for demonstration).
Picture below (right)
depicts full eye, hand,
body, respiratory and
foot protection.
5. Finish by washing your hands or using
alcohol gel if soap and water is
Bachelor of Paramedic Science 2015