Hospitals and clinics are exposed to various germs, infectants, and other types of health hazards. Hence, personal protective equipment like disposable aprons are mostly used as a safety measure by hospital and clinical workers and professionals to ward off the health risk factors. Moreover, this enables the employers and the workers of the health care facilities to stay compliant with OSHA standards for workplace safety. Disposable aprons are also safer and cheaper means of health protection than reusable aprons.
Particularly, in the Central Sterile Service Department (CSSD), operation theater, patient wards, isolation wards, and intensive care unit (ICU) of the hospitals and clinics, staff are vulnerable to various health risks due to the presence of various potentially harmful micro-organisms. CSSD staff have to perform reprocessing and sterilization of surgical devices in order to free them of germs so that they can be used on patients. So, they have to work in an unsafe and disease-prone environment on a regular basis. To reduce these health hazards, disposable aprons, in conjunction with safety gloves, caps, and face masks have found extensive use in the health care facilities.
Now, let us highlight the benefits of using disposable aprons.
Major Benefits of Using Disposable Aprons
Disposable Aprons Save Money – There are pre-determined expenses when it comes to buying a disposable apron. You may need to buy these protective items weekly or monthly. You are aware of the number of these aprons required on a weekly or monthly basis. So, the approximate expenditure on purchasing these aprons is fixed.
These aprons are meant for single-use and can be thrown away upon completion of a single medical procedure or when they become soiled, and hence they don’t require any maintenance. So, there are no additional charges, like electricity, water, detergent, bleach, fabric conditioner, and other subsequent costs needed for the maintenance of disposable aprons, unlike the reusable ones.
Disposable Aprons Save Time – The usage of disposable aprons is very effective for saving valuable time. Disposable clothing requires no sterilization and laundering. However, non-disposable aprons have to go through the cleaning procedure on a regular basis. If the reusable aprons have not been cleaned properly the first time, they may need to be cleaned again. This will cause delays in the supply of clean reusable aprons and hinder the smooth functioning of hospitals and clinics.
Use of Disposable Aprons by Medical Staff Ensures Hygiene Inside Health Care Premises – If the staff of hospitals and clinics adopt disposable aprons as their protective body covering, then patients and their family members will be assured about the indoor hygiene. This will reassure them that special attention is always paid to cleanliness and hygiene inside the hospital premises. This will help in building trust and reliability of those health care facilities.
Use of Disposable Aprons Helps in Preventing Injuries – Due to the widespread use of technological equipment in the health care sector, health care professionals and workers are subject to occupational hazards, like physical, chemical, biological, ergonomic, and other types of accidents. Thus, using disposable aprons will help reduce these occupational hazards and help the healthcare professionals to offer better and hassle-free services to patients.
Disposable Aprons are Resistant to Microbes – Wearing disposable aprons and other personal protective equipment in hospitals and clinics may eliminate the health risks and ensure safety for medical professionals and other healthcare staff. Especially, the use of aprons is mandatory when direct contact is required between professionals and the patients infected by micro-organisms. These micro-organisms have contributed in causing health issues worldwide. Therefore, use of long-sleeved disposable aprons by doctors, nurses, and other health workers dealing with patients is mandatory during healthcare. These disposable items are resistant to microbes and safeguard the health workers against contamination and diseases.
When to Consider Wearing a Disposable Apron in Hospitals and Clinics?
Disposable aprons are fluid-resistant or impervious to the damage caused by liquids. They should be worn when there is a risk of the spilling of blood, excretion, or secretion (other than sweat), bodily substances, and others. It will protect the care provider’s clothes and skin from being exposed to infection.
These types of protective gear must be worn by caregivers when the healthcare workers are in direct contact with a patient or the patient environment. This should be done to reduce the risk of transmission of micro-organisms to the patient or health care giver.
These aprons should be changed between procedures. This is because one patient may get infected by the micro-organisms carried by another.
Some Precautionary Measures While Putting on and Taking off Your Disposable Apron
When putting on a disposable apron, the following sequence of precautions are necessary.
1. Decontamination of hands before putting on the aprons is essential to provide germ-free and ideal health care to patients. Clean hands will remove the chances of transference of any bacteria or micro-organism from a previous patient.
2. Pull your apron over your head and tie it at the back of your waist.
While you are taking off your apron you must exercise some precautions.
1. You should take it away from your shoulders, and must be careful to touch only the safer inside part of the apron and not the contaminated outside portion.
2. You must roll it with the inside part outermost and dispose of in the clinical dust bin.
3. You should clean your hands by washing with effective hand disinfectants.
Disposable apron has become an essential part of regular healthcare in recent times. The health care professionals are greatly benefited by wearing these aprons as they ensure a safer work environment for them, as well as providing an ideal and healthy environment for the patients. Last but not the least, these disposable aprons are now made in an eco-friendly manner as they can be made from biodegradable or recycled items. So, they are safe to use without causing environmental hazards or contamination.