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PPE at COVID-19 drive thru clinic question


I met criteria and was tested. My question is the nursing staff didn’t use regular disposable gloves. They had on those snug fitting surgical gloves that go nearly half way up your forearm and just cleaned the gloves with hand sanitizer frequently / between patients but did not see anyone change gloves. This freaked me out when the nurse swabbing my nose placed the back of her gloves hand on my cheek. People were coughing and gagging when being swabbed for strep / flu / COVID-19 and they were just dousing with hand sanitizer and moving on to the next. I had a fever and was a little delirious, I probably should have asked questions right then. Anyway, is this normal at any of the other drive-thru clinics? Am I over-reacting? I’m a high-risk patient.


Specializes in CTSICU/Travel RN. Has 6 years experience.

It is incredible that that is what times have come to. I have no real input to add other than absolute and udder shock that this is what HCPs are doing/expected to do..! I would be so frightened by that occurrence as well.

WOW!, absolutely not appropriate. We have to change gloves after every patient, and gown's/ other PPE if visibly soiled.

MunoRN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 10 years experience.

I know this is something that gives us the heebie-jeebies, but not for any particularly good reason.

Using hand hygiene on the same set of gloves between patients, particularly in a screening setting, is something we've move to as well, I don't think it's as outlandish as it seems. As lethal and easily spread as COVID is, it's not at all hardy when it comes to commonly used hand hygiene products.

To start with, exam gloves are far from sterile to begin with, but more importantly repeated access of an exam gloves box will often introduce whatever pathogen is present in the environment to other gloves. Ideally, we're changing gloves and then using hand hygiene on the gloves, but more realistically in a high volume care setting like a screening station, one action is what you can reliably expect. Either the staff are going to change gloves, or use hand hygiene on the same set of gloves. Personally I'll take hand hygiene on a previously used set of gloves over a new set of likely contaminated gloves.