Mind Your Gloves!


Editor’s Note: This social media post was by PMU Guru, Kathleen Cronin, of Albany, NY. Shared with permission.

Mini Rant:  Infection control and cross-contamination when artists have gloves on. salon_gurus_pmu_expert

I just watched a very long video of an artist from start to finish… great work, but, complete breaks in basic aseptic technique with gloves on.

She put on gloves (great) but then proceeded to touch everything around her with the gloves, then work on the client, touch surfaces, lights, iPhone, work on the client, touch her mask, etc. This is a complete break in aseptic (this is not about sterile) technique.

This artist had NO barrier under the client’s head, no barrier on the chest area and a big ole blanket up to the neck.

You may not see it happening, but, there IS blood splatter when you work…especially when you tap with hand shaders.

Gloves should be worn to set up a tray…then discarded
Fresh Gloves are worn to start the procedure.
Discard the gloves before touching ANYTHING off the tray.
FRESH gloves to begin again.

NOTHING that is reusable should ever be on your tray, except your barrier-wrapped machine. There should be no bottles of pigments, no wash bottles that are not completely covered in barrier film, no eye drops bottle… etc. If it is barrier wrapped, no part of the unwrapped item should make any contact with a contaminant (blood and fluids). Calipers and tools that are reused need to be cleaned with hospital grade disinfectant and that needs at least 10 minutes from wet to dry to work or they need to be sterilized.

If you need to touch ANYTHING off your clean tray, you must remove the contaminated gloves. Anything you touch with gloves is contaminated…including your face mask, your hair, your chair, your headlight, your lights…unless these things are covered in Barrier film or plastic.

You may NOT adjust your lights with contaminated gloves UNLESS the lights are barrier covered. That holds true for your headlamp, chair and your tray if it is not completely covered including the sides. Covering just the top of the tray is not enough.

If you touch any surface that is not barrier protected, and then touch your client with opened skin, you introduce bacteria/pathogens into those open areas. Think of how many punctures or cuts have been made into the skin beyond the epidermis–the layer that protects us.

Fresh gloves MUST be put on BEFORE you touch the client and if you touch anything after you begin work. ANYTHING

Your hair should be covered or pulled back. There should NEVER be hanging hair near your clients face or in your work space–ever. Now I know many do this too, but, bare forearms should be free of all jewelry or covered…the forearms and jewelry can easily get contaminated with BBP’s too and are you going to clean those between clients? I wear disposable sleeve protectors or a gown. No necklaces or earrings dangling over the work zone, either. We are not there to look pretty or cool. We are supposed to protect our clients and ourselves.

Have extra gloves out and ready to change. I can go through 5 sets so easy during a procedure. If I need something while I am working, if I stop to take photos, if I adjust my glasses or anything I touch that is not barrier protected, I change my gloves.

I am tired of hearing that tattoo procedures are not “Medical” procedures! NO…they are not, BUT, when you break the skin, you need to take the proper precautions as though it were.

MRSA can kill you
STAPH can kill you
Hepatitis can kill you

The list goes on. This is SERIOUS people. You can NOT see germs.

This artist has now been seen by who knows how many people and her visual message is one of gross cross-contamination. If you have not refreshed on Blood Borne Pathogen protocol, I highly suggest you do. Take the course again, get the newest Infection Control manual from SPCA or Softap…but please just refresh your knowledge.

Anything you post, especially if you are a known artist and respected artist, will be a non-verbal visual message and OK to others…especially new people who think anything you do is cool and right!

Kathleen Cronin is a nurse of 39 years and has been performing PMU since 1980. She is an educator, mentor and advocate for the industry as an active member of SPCP.  Her work may be seen on her website.