Education and training around proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is essential. We know knowledge gaps exist and proper techniques are not always implemented, especially when it comes to donning and doffing. If the appropriate protocol is not followed, healthcare workers and their patients are at increased risk.

SMP Health – St. Catherine North & South Campus in Fargo, ND, initiated a creative way to ensure understanding of proper donning and doffing techniques. This paper doll exercise helps team members demonstrate how to use PPE correctly.

Chelsea Ertelt, RN, is part of the Admissions and Infection Control Team at SMP Health. Ertelt shared, “It is important to think outside of the box when assessing your performance and providing education to staff. We utilized a PPE donning and doffing game where staff had a paper doll and all of the required PPE for droplet precautions. Staff were asked to demonstrate donning and doffing of PPE on the paper doll in proper order. Our team enjoyed this activity and it was a new way to engage them in learning about a repeat topic.”

Ertelt added, “The greatest benefit to proper PPE use is knowing that when we use proper technique of donning and doffing, that our staff are protecting themselves and the residents. It maintains the spread of infection to one resident/room rather than spreading it from contamination as we know COVID19 spreads so quickly. It is most rewarding when we have an outbreak, of only one resident and it stays with that one resident. That’s when you know staff are doing proper procedures when not being audited or watched.”

Access the donning and doffing paper doll tabletop exercise (also includes instruction for use)

Ertelt continued, “The reason I like this exercise is that it makes our staff think. Along with the activity, we ask questions to ensure PPE is being taken off correctly; i.e., the gloves are over the cuffs and the gowns are taken off by rolling it down and not touching the outside of the gown.”

Access CDC resources to support occupational infection prevention and control in healthcare settings and the safety of healthcare personnel, patients, visitors and others.