How to put on sterile gloves

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During the first week of the academic year as I began my fellowship, one of our attending physicians gave us a valuable demonstrative lecture on the proper way to put on sterile gloves. Throughout medical school and residency, I had attended multiple lectures and completed countless mandatory infection control learning modules on the same topic. However, no one had ever physically demonstrated how to properly put on sterile gloves, and I realized that although I had done it hundreds of times, I was performing a few of the steps incorrectly.

To reduce the likelihood of infection, proper sterility is of utmost importance when performing invasive procedures in patients undergoing interventional procedures. Sterile technique applies to many interventions—placing arterial and central lines, obtaining blood cultures, placing urine catheters, and all procedures involving the neuroaxis. Sterility starts with proper gloving technique.

The majority of interventional and noninterventional training programs require trainees to perform a minimum number of these sterile procedures to satisfy graduation requirements. Although trainees attend lectures and complete computer learning modules on this topic, the majority of the programs do not have a formal didactic and demonstration of the important technique of sterile gloving. Many trainees may be gloving improperly and unknowingly putting their patients at risk.

A search of the medical literature revealed a paucity of publications focused on teaching proper sterile gloving to residents, the impact of proper technique, or the relationship between improper technique and subsequent infection rates. Khouli et al attempted to determine the optimal method to teach medical residents correct sterile techniques, including proper sterile gloving, in an effort to reduce catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSI). 1 They found that compared to the traditional apprenticeship model (residency training), both simulation-based and video training groups had higher median scores in sterility technique that resulted in significantly lower CRBSI.

The World Health Organization “Glove Use Informational Leaflet” includes illustrations and written instructions for donning and removing nonsterile examination gloves. 2 Some hospital websites have illustrations and written information for patients and their families who will need to use sterile gloves after their discharge. 3,4

Given the minimal amount of literature focused on proper sterile gloving techniques, we have produced a guide that provides step-by-step photographs with brief instructions for each step. This guide taps into the visual aspect of learning, and the brevity of the instructions aids in learning. The guide demonstrates proper gloving technique from opening and unwrapping the outer covering through to sterile application of the gloves to both hands.

“Sterile” means free of germs. It is important to use sterile gloves when you do certain things to take care of your child.

Steps to put on sterile gloves

Place the package of sterile gloves in a clean work area.

  • Remove the outer packaging of the sterile gloves. Open the inner packaging as directed. Do not touch anything inside of the package. Step 1 in the picture shows how the gloves look in the package.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water. Dry them well. See “Do you know… Clean hands.”
  • Using your non-dominant hand (the one you do not write with), pick up the glove for your other hand by the cuff. Step 2 in the picture shows how this looks.This glov is for your dominant hand (the one you write with). Be careful to touch just the inside of the cuff and glove. This part will touch your skin when the glove is on your hand.
  • Let the glove hang with the fingers pointing downward. Then slide your dominant hand into the glove with your palm facing up and your fingers open. Step 3 in the picture shows how this looks. Be careful not to touch the package as you put on the gloves.
  • If the glove does not go on straight, wait to adjust it until you put on the other glove. Keep your hands above your waist to make sure they stay sterile.

“Do you know. ” is an educational series for patients and their families.

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  • Use the hand with the glove to slide your fingers under the cuff of the second glove. Step 4 in the picture shows how this looks. Only touch the outside of this glove. This part will not be against your skin when the glove is on your hand.
  • Let the glove hang with the fingers pointing downward. Slide your hand into the glove with the palm up and the fingers open. Step 5 in the picture shows how this looks.
  • Adjust both gloves until they fit properly. Only touch sterile gloved areas.


If you have questions about putting on sterile gloves, talk to your child’s nurse or clinical nurse specialist. A nursing coordinator is always here to answer your questions and address your concerns. Call 901-595-3300 and ask for the nursing coordinator. If you are outside the Memphis area, dial toll-free 1-866-2STJUDE (1-866-278-5833), and press 0 when the call connects.

This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

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ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

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Sterile procedures are required before and during specific patient care activities to maintain an area free from microorganisms and to prevent infection. Performing a surgical hand scrub, applying sterile gloves, and preparing a sterile field are ways to prevent and minimize infection during surgeries or invasive procedures.

Surgical Hand Scrub

Skin is a major source of microorganisms and a major source of contamination in the OR setting (CDC, 2010). Since skin cannot be sterilized, members of the surgical team must wear sterile gloves. The purpose of the surgical hand scrub is to significantly reduce the number of skin bacteria found on the hands and arms of the OR staff (Kennedy, 2013). A surgical hand scrub is an antiseptic surgical scrub or antiseptic hand rub that is performed prior to donning surgical attire (Perry et al., 2014) and lasts two to five minutes, depending on the product used and hospital policy. Studies have shown that skin bacteria rapidly multiply under surgical gloves if hands are not washed with an antimicrobial soap, whereas a surgical hand scrub will inhibit growth of bacteria under gloved hands (Kennedy, 2013).

Types of surgical hand scrubs

Surgical hand scrub techniques and supplies to clean hands will vary among health care agencies. Most protocols will require a microbial soap-and-water, three- to five-minute hand scrub procedure. Some agencies may use an approved waterless hand scrub product. See Checklist 11 for the steps to follow when scrubbing with medicated soap.

Disclaimer: Always review and follow your hospital policy regarding this specific skill.
Safety considerations:


Additional Information

Applying Sterile Gloves

Sterile gloves are gloves that are free from all microorganisms. They are required for any invasive procedure and when contact with any sterile site, tissue, or body cavity is expected (PIDAC, 2012). Sterile gloves help prevent surgical site infections and reduce the risk of exposure to blood and body fluid pathogens for the health care worker. Studies have shown that 18% to 35% of all sterile gloves have tiny holes after surgery, and up to 80% of the tiny puncture sites go unnoticed by the surgeon (Kennedy, 2013). Double gloving is known to reduce the risk of exposure and has become common practice, but does not reduce the risk of cross-contamination after surgery (Kennedy, 2013).

To apply sterile gloves, follow the steps in Checklist 12.

Disclaimer: Always review and follow your hospital policy regarding this specific skill.
Safety considerations:


Additional Information

Video 1.3

Setting up a Sterile Field

Aseptic procedures require a sterile area in which to work with sterile objects. A sterile field is a sterile surface on which to place sterile equipment that is considered free from microorganisms (Perry et al., 2014). A sterile field is required for all invasive procedures to prevent the transfer of microorganisms and reduce the potential for surgical site infections. Sterile fields can be created in the OR using drapes, or at the bedside using a prepackaged set of supplies for a sterile procedure or wound care. Many sterile kits contain a waterproof inner drape that can be set up as part of the sterile field. Sterile items can be linen wrapped or paper wrapped, depending on whether they are single- or multi-use. Always check hospital policy and doctor orders if a sterile field is required for a procedure. See Checklist 13 for the steps for preparing a sterile field.

Disclaimer: Always review and follow your hospital policy regarding this specific skill.
Safety considerations:


Additional Information

Items below waist level are considered contaminated.

Prepare sterile field as close to the time of procedure as possible.

The inside of the sterile packaging is your sterile drape.

Stand away from your sterile field when opening sterile packaging.

Adding Sterile Items to a Sterile Field

Gently drop items onto the sterile field or use sterile forceps to place sterile items onto the field.

If using equipment wrapped in linen, ensure sterility by checking the tape for date and to view chemical indicator (stripes on the tape ensure sterility has been achieved).

When using paper-wrapped items, they should be dry and free from tears. Confirm expiry date.

Do not flip or toss objects onto the sterile field.

How to put on sterile gloves Sterile solution How to put on sterile gloves Add sterile solution to the sterile field

This ensures the sterility of the solution and the use of the correct solution.

It also ensures the bottle of solution does not come in contact with the sterile field.

Lastly, it verifies the type of solution required for the procedure.

Sterile Attire in the OR

Wearing sterile surgical attire (sterile gowns, closed gloving, and masks) and PPE is essential to keep the restricted and semi-restricted areas clean and to minimize sources of microbial transmission and contamination. It is important to minimize the patient’s exposure to the surgical team’s skin, mucous membranes, and hair by the proper application of surgical attire. An extensive list of recommendations for surgical attire can be located on the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) website at Recommendations for surgical attire (Braswell & Spruce, 2012).

Critical Thinking Exercises

  1. Name four differences between a medical hand wash with soap and water and a surgical hand scrub.
  2. When preparing a sterile field, is the first flap open toward the health care provider or away from the health care provider?
  3. Name two reasons for performing hand hygiene before and after applying sterile gloves.


Clinical Procedures for Safer Patient Care by Glynda Rees Doyle and Jodie Anita McCutcheon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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Wearing sterile gloves is part of aseptic hand hygiene, since the hands can never be sterile Preparation for putting on surgical gloves Gloves are cuffed to make it easier to put them on without contaminating them. When putting on sterile gloves, remember that the first glove should be picked up by the cuff only. The second glove should then be touched only by the other sterile glove. Step 1 Prepare a large, clean, dry area for opening the package of gloves. Either open the outer glove package and then perform a surgical scrub or perform a surgical scrub and ask someone else to open the package of gloves for you.

Step 2 Open the inner glove wrapper, exposing the cuffed gloves with the palms up. Step 3 Pick up the first glove by the cuff, touching only the inside portion of the cuff (the inside is the side that will be touching your skin when the glove is on). Step 4 While holding the cuff in one hand, slip your other hand into the glove. (Pointing the fingers of the glove toward the floor will keep the fingers open. ) Be careful not to touch anything, and hold the gloves above your waist level. NOTE: If the first glove is not fitted correctly, wait to make any adjustment until the second glove is on.

Then use the sterile fingers of one glove to adjust the sterile portion of the other glove. Step 5 Pick up the second glove by sliding the fingers of the gloved hand under the cuff of the second glove. Be careful not to contaminate the gloved hand with the ungloved hand as the second glove is being put on. Step 6 Put the second glove on the ungloved hand by maintaining a steady pull through the cuff. Step 7 Adjust the glove fingers until the gloves fit comfortably.

Gloves play a dual role in the healthcare environment they act as a barrier to give personal protection and help prevent the transmission of infection. Key Points •Only wear gloves when necessary. •Sterile Latex Gloves should be worn when in direct contact with blood, body fluids, nonintact skin or mucous membranes. •Sterile Glove usage is not a substitute for thorough hand hygiene. •Sterile Latex Surgical Gloves should be changed after every task intended or episode of patient care. •Hands should be washed thoroughly before donning gloves and after gloves have been removed. •It is important to ensure that gloves fit correctly.

Sterile surgeons gloves are expensive and should not be used for noninvasive aseptic procedures where sterile examination gloves would be adequate. •Vinyl gloves are not a satisfactory substitute for latex gloves for contact with blood or blood-stained body fluids. •Gloves should not be washed, or decontaminated using alcohol rubs/gels •Powdered gloves must not be used within the health care setting. Individuals who are sensitised to natural rubber latex proteins and/or other chemicals in gloves need to be tested for latex allergies.

Sterile means free from germs. When you care for your catheter or surgery wound, you need to take steps to avoid spreading germs. Some cleaning and care procedures need to be done in a sterile way so that you do not get an infection.

Follow your health care provider’s instructions on using sterile technique. Use the information below as a reminder of the steps.

Sterile Technique

Carefully follow all of the steps below to keep your work area sterile.

  • Running water and soap
  • A sterile kit or pad
  • Gloves (sometimes these are in your kit)
  • A clean, dry surface
  • Clean paper towels

Wash your hands well and keep all work surfaces clean and dry at all times. When you handle supplies, touch only the outside wrappers with your bare hands. You may need to wear a mask over your nose and mouth.

Keep your supplies within your reach so you do not drop or rub against them while you go through the steps. If you need to cough or sneeze, turn your head away from your supplies and cover your mouth firmly with the crook of your elbow.

Getting Your Supplies Ready

To open a sterile pad or kit:

  • Wash your hands with soap and running water for at least 1 minute. Wash the backs, palms, fingers, thumbs and between your fingers thoroughly. Wash for as long as it takes you to slowly say the alphabet or sing the “Happy Birthday” song, 2 times through. Dry with a clean paper towel.
  • Use the special flap to pull back the paper wrapper of your pad or kit. Open it so that the inside faces away from you.
  • Pinch the other sections on the outside, and pull them back gently. Do not touch the inside. Everything inside the pad or kit is sterile except for the 1-inch (2.5 centimeters) border around it.
  • Throw the wrapper away.

Your gloves may be separate or inside the kit. To get your gloves ready:

  • Wash your hands again the same way you did the first time. Dry with a clean paper towel.
  • If the gloves are in your kit, pinch the glove wrapper to pick it up, and place it on a clean, dry surface next to the pad.
  • If the gloves are in a separate package, open the outer wrapper and place the open package on a clean, dry surface next to the pad.

Putting on Your Gloves

When putting on your gloves:

  • Put your gloves on carefully.
  • Wash your hands again the same way you did the first time. Dry with a clean paper towel.
  • Open the wrapper so that the gloves are lying out in front of you. But do not touch them.
  • With your writing hand, grab the other glove by the folded wrist cuff.
  • Slide the glove onto your hand. It helps to keep your hand straight and thumb tucked in.
  • Leave the cuff folded. Be careful not to touch the outside of the glove.
  • Pick up the other glove by sliding your fingers into the cuff.
  • Slip the glove over the fingers of this hand. Keep your hand flat and do not let your thumb touch your skin.
  • Both gloves will have a folded-over cuff. Reach under the cuffs and pull back toward your elbow.

Once your gloves are on, do not touch anything except your sterile supplies. If you do touch something else, remove the gloves, wash your hands again, and go through the steps to open and put on a new pair of gloves.

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This guide explains how to put on sterile surgical gloves in the operating theatre setting (surgical gloving). As a result, this guide assumes you have already decontaminated your hands and donned a sterile surgical gown using an appropriate surgical scrubbing procedure.

Gloving Technique

Step 1

  • Open the inner glove packet that you previously dropped onto your sterile field.

How to put on sterile gloves Open the inner glove packet

Step 2

  • Pick up one glove by the folded cuff edge with your sleeve-covered hand.

How to put on sterile gloves Pick up one glove by the folded cuff edge

Step 3

  • Place the glove on the opposite gown sleeve facing palm down, with the glove fingers pointing towards you. The palm of the hand inside the gown sleeve must be facing upward toward the palm of the glove.
  • Place the glove’s rolled cuff edge at the seam that connects the sleeve to the gown cuff. Grasp the bottom rolled cuff edge of the glove with the thumb and index finger of the hand the glove is on top of.

How to put on sterile gloves Place the glove on the opposite gown sleeve facing palm down, with the glove fingers pointing towards you.

Step 4

  • While holding the glove’s cuff edge with one hand, grasp the uppermost edge of the glove’s cuff with the opposite hand.

How to put on sterile gloves Grasp the uppermost edge of the glove’s cuff with the opposite hand.

Step 5

  • Continuing to grasp the glove, stretch the cuff of the glove over the hand.
  • Using the opposite sleeve covered hand, grasp both the glove cuff and sleeve cuff seam and pull the glove onto the hand. Pull any excessive amount of glove sleeve from underneath the cuff of the glove.

How to put on sterile gloves Pull the glove over the hand.

Step 6

  • Using the hand that is now gloved put on the second glove in the same manner. Check to make sure that each gown cuff is secured and covered completely by the cuff of the glove.

How to put on sterile gloves

How to put on sterile gloves

How to put on sterile gloves

Step 7

  • Adjust the fingers of each glove as necessary so that they fit appropriately.

How to put on sterile gloves Adjust the gloves to ensure they fit well.

Key Points

  • Keep your hands in your sleeves so that you do not touch the glove on the outside of the gown with your bare hands.
  • Keep your hands above your waist and in front of you
  • Ensure you do not touch anything around you that is not sterile – this includes your face, mask, and hat!

Illustrated by

Aisha Ali

Medical student and illustrator


1. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence 2008 Clinical Guideline 74 – Surgical Site Infection: Prevention and treatment of surgical site infection London, NICE

2. World Health Organisation 2009 WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care (revised Aug 2009) [online] [Accessed August 2018]

3. The Association for Perioperative Practice. A guide to surgical hand antisepsis 2014. [Accessed August 2018]

Ingredients for an Artful Life, Home & Family (with a generous scoop of Wisdom stirred in.)

How to put on sterile gloves

With the corona virus being felt worldwide, people are wearing gloves to the supermarket, gloves to pick up mail, gloves to pump gas in their car. If you do use gloves, it’s important to learn how to take them off to avoid spreading the germs you are trying to avoid. In my husband’s case, putting gloves on is an important part of his daily routine.

My husband is a paraplegic. Because he has no feeling from the waist down, he has no bladder control. Six to seven times throughout the day he needs to use a catheter to empty his bladder. This means inserting a foreign object into his body. When doing this, keeping the area as sterile as possible is the goal. That includes wearing gloves as he inserts the catheter. Touching clothes, sink or anything else can lead to contamination and possibly infection such as a urinary tract infection.

He uses a fresh catheter each time, sterilizes the area and always uses gloves. Here is a demonstration of how to put sterile gloves on. It’s important to remember not to touch anything besides the sterilized area once the gloves are on.

After he is finished catheing, he needs to dispose of the gloves. They are one use only. Here he demonstrates show to remove and dispose of the gloves.

It seems simple yet it easy to forget not to touch anything while wearing the gloves or not to contaminate our hands as we remove them. As an extra precaution, wash your hands after the gloves are removed.

PLEASE DISPOSE of your GLOVES in a trash can. Please don’t toss them on the ground for someone else to pick up. Let’s each take responsibility for ourselves!

And remember – wash your hands for 20 seconds. The ABC song is one way to time it. You could also pray the Hail Mary and Our Father.

Stay safe, stay healthy!

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DISCLAIMER: We are not professionals in the medical field. This video is the method that my husband learned from rehab specialists for his personal needs and in no way implies that it will prevent the spread of COvid-19.

How to put on sterile gloves

Last update: 15 June, 2020

Today, the entire world is experiencing the effects of a pandemic as the result of coronavirus. This virus has a high capacity to spread. Therefore, to protect yourself, it’s fundamental you know how to put on and take off disposable gloves and masks that certain circumstances require.

Disposable gloves are single-use products that serve to protect our hands. They act as a barrier, protecting those wearing them from possible contamination for the environment. At the same time, they help prevent the spread of the virus from their wearers to others.

In other words, gloves protect by preventing contact between hands and any infectious agent. They are used especially to carry out analysis and to care for those who are sick. For example, to extract blood or to take someone’s temperature.

However, for gloves to fulfill their purpose, we need to know how to put them on and take them off properly. So, in the article below, we’ll explain how and when to use them to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

How to put on and take off disposable gloves: The first step

In order to put on and take off gloves properly, following a series of specific steps is essential. First of all, you must remove any accessories from your hands and wrists, such as rings, bracelets, or watches. What’s more, you need to keep your fingernails short to keep them from damaging the gloves.

Once you’ve done this, then it’s time to wash your hands thoroughly. First, wet your hands and add soap. Then, rub your hands together, focusing especially on your fingers and the spaces in between. Don’t forget the wash the back of your hands and move up your forearms as well. Be sure to wash every nook and cranny of your hands, including your thumbs and the tips of your fingers.

If you have any alcohol-based sanitizer, you can use this as well. Once you’ve finished sudsing up, rinse well with abundant water.

After washing, it’s important to dry your hands with a clean, disposable paper towel. If you wash your hands with sanitizer, then simply allow them to air dry. Now that your hands are clean, it’s time to put on your gloves.

How to put on disposable gloves

These gloves come in a wrapper in order to keep them sterile. Therefore, you must follow the instructions for their use when it comes to opening them. Be sure to set them on a surface that’s also sterile. Then, put the first glove on, paying special attention not to touch the outer part of the glove.

Then, when you put on the other glove, you can use the hand that’s already covered to assist you. At all times, be extremely careful not to contaminate either of the two gloves.

How to take off disposable gloves

When it’s time to remove disposable gloves, you need to be especially cautious. If they’re contaminated and the person wearing them touches them with bare hands, he or she can end up becoming infected.

So, the first thing you must do is gently grab onto one glove with the opposite hand. Pull off the glove, making sure your skin doesn’t come into contact with the outside of the glove. Using the hand that’s still covered, through the first glove way, preferably in a bin for biohazardous waste.

Now, to remove the second glove, introduce the fingers of your free hand inside the glove you’re still wearing. That way, very carefully, you can turn it inside out and remove it without touching the exterior.

Keep in mind

Medical supplies are practically a privilege, especially in situations where the entire world is worried about this pandemic. The use of gloves and masks should be limited to situations where they are absolutely necessary.

What’s more, you need to be aware of how to use them properly. Finally, remember the most important measure against the spread of coronavirus is washing your hands. In the same way, make sure to avoid contact with the exterior of disposable gloves and masks once you’re done using them.