Gloves come in several varieties, including natural rubber latex and synthetic alternatives. It is essential that the glove chosen by the healthcare worker is the most appropriate for the care activity that is to be undertaken, as not all types of glove offer the same level of protection.
The choice of glove to be used should be based on an assessment of the risk of transmission of micro-organisms to the patient, and the risk of contamination to the healthcare worker by patients' blood, body fluids, secretions and excretions.
Gloves do not need to be sterile unless used in a sterile body site during surgical or other invasive procedures, or when working with sterile equipment. Sterile gloves must conform to British Standards, and all gloves must be of good quality so that they do not tear or split easily. They must also be free from pinholes.