Personal Protective Equipment

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Medical Courier Safety. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Personal Protective Equipment

Health care workers use personal protective equipment, commonly referred to as PPE, because we must consider all patients' blood and body fluids as potentially infectious or biohazardous.
PPE refers to:
  • protective clothing
  • safety glasses or goggles
  • facial shields
  • gloves
  • shoe covers
These PPE items are designed to protect the health care worker’s body from injury and exposure to infectious microorganisms or hazardous chemicals.
Employers are required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to provide all necessary PPE for every employee at no cost to the employee. Employees must never be asked to provide their own PPE.
OSHA also requires that any potentially infectious specimens, which includes most clinical laboratory samples, be placed in a secondary container with a biohazard symbol present when being transported.