FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When should personal protective equipment be worn?
Personal protective equipment (PPE) should be worn in all environments where one can be exposed to health or safety hazards. Besides hospitals and salons, medical PPE gear is also used when handling chemicals and to prevent cross-contamination when working with food. This is why they are often found in kitchens, supermarket deli departments, and laboratories.
What does PPE stand for in health and wellness terms?
PPE stands for personal protective equipment and it is designed to be worn or held for protection against health and safety hazards. A very familiar example from the construction industry would be safety helmets. When it comes to health and wellness, PPE is any device or appliance that protects users not only from injury but also from the spread of illness and infection. Medical PPE gear consists mainly of gloves, gowns, face shields, and masks.
What is the most important protective gear for therapists, estheticians, and stylists?
Although not healthcare facilities, all massage parlors and beauty salons need an extensive range of medical PPE gear. The most important pieces of personal protective equipment for therapists, estheticians, and stylists are disposable gloves and protective covers. The recent pandemic stressed the importance of other PPE categories as well. These are disposable and reusable masks, face shields, disposable apparel, and protective eyewear.
What are the main categories of PPE?
Gloves — Nitrile gloves are durable and more puncture resistant than vinyl gloves. However, vinyl is less expensive, which makes these gloves preferable when having to change them often.
Face Protection — Disposable and reusable masks each have their pros and cons. The same goes for protective eyewear. Keep in mind that the most important aspect is to use them properly. Regardless of the mask you use, face shields offer an additional layer of protection.
PPE Apparel — Some disposable garments are designed for professionals, others for their patients/clients. For instance, disposable underwear is ideal for customers getting body treatments and waxing. They come in the form of bras, panties, boxers, thongs, and bikinis. PPE apparel also includes shoe covers, isolation gowns, and surgical hair covers.
Massage Table Covers — Reusable or disposable covers that fit most spa and massage tables. You can replace them with smooth table paper or wax paper. Reusable covers are easy to disinfect.
Head Rest Covers — Reusable or disposable face cradle covers. You can also use nurses' caps, but you have to press down with your fingers to create a nose hole.
Accessory Covers — Hygienic and professional-looking pillow and stool covers that are easy to clean.
Diagnostic Tools — Infrared thermometers, pulse oximeters, disposable stethoscopes, rapid Covid-19 tests.
Disinfectants — Disinfectant detergent for non-porous surfaces, as well as hospital-grade disinfectant sprays and disposable wipes.
Sanitizers — Hand sanitizer, hand soap, sanitizer wipes and sprays, alcohol prep pads, and laundry detergents.
Sanitization Equipment — UV sterilizers for towels, portable sanitizer bags for everyday items, air purifiers for small rooms, ionization systems, and sneeze guards.
What is the difference between hospital-grade disinfectants and household cleaners?
Hospital-grade disinfectants are tested against various pathogens according to government standards. They are approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before they can be used in a hospital setting. Household cleaners also undergo testing, but the standards to be met are lower and they don't make any antimicrobial claims. Hospital-grade disinfectants for coronavirus are on EPA's List N. You can find the EPA registration number on the product label.
Is diagnostic equipment considered PPE?
While diagnostic equipment is not PPE per se, they are used together in medical facilities and nursing homes. This is because identifying potential hazards is extremely useful when trying to keep infections at bay. Diagnostic equipment like thermometers, oximeters, and Covid-19 tests can all help identify such hazards. Other non-PPE categories are also closely related and play an important part in personal protection. They include sanitization equipment, hospital-grade disinfectants, table covers, and hand sanitizers.