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infection-control practices, isolation precautions, personal protective equipment



  1. Beam, Elizabeth PhD, RN
  2. Gibbs, Shawn G. PhD, MBA
  3. Hewlett, Angela L. MD
  4. Iwen, Peter C. PhD
  5. Nuss, Suzanne L. PhD, RN
  6. Smith, Philip W. MD


Overview: In 2014, the authors published the results of a study investigating nurses' use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the care of a live simulated patient requiring contact and airborne precautions. The 24 participants were video-recorded as they donned and doffed PPE. Variations in practices that had the potential to cause contamination were noted. In this article, the authors comment on those variations, analyzing each element of proper PPE protocols and examining why the behaviors are a safety concern for the nurse and a potential risk for disease transmission in the hospital or other clinical area. The authors note that making use of reflective practice for complicated care situations such as infection control may help nurses improve decision making in isolation care.