Certified nurse assistants  who practice frequent glove use may be the key to hampering the spread of dangerous pathogens, according to a study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Infection Control

Researchers found a significant incidence of  “inappropriate” glove use while residents were assisted with toileting and perineal care. The glove wearers failed to change their gloves during pivotal touch points of care. 

To measure glove use, researchers developed and validated a glove use surveillance (GUST) tool, which enabled them to record the type of surface, the sequence in which the glove wearers touched surfaces during a patient care event, whether they wore gloves, and whether they changed gloves.

“Glove use behavior is as important as hand washing when it comes to infection prevention,” said lead study author Deborah Patterson Burdsall, PhR., RNC. 

“These findings indicate that glove use behavior should be monitored alongside hand hygiene. The observations should be shared with staff to improve behaviors and reduce the risk of disease transmission.”