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As a healthcare provider, you will be already aware of universal precautions. But if you're away from the healthcare settings, things may be different, so it's worth covering the basics to ensure you stay safe. Initially, when you approach someone, make sure you ask permission to help them. If you ask permission, then you have deemed rights to actually help that person. If they are not conscious, then still ask them. If they don't reply, then again, you have deemed consent. Do the right thing and stay within your training. What you want to do is make sure when you're dealing with any emergencies, you trust your training, you do exactly what you've been trained to do and you don't exceed that. Always get help wherever you need to.

The first thing you need to do is to make sure you just stay safe from infection. You want to eliminate any risk of you possibly catching anything from any blood-borne substance. The first thing would be the gloves. Make sure you select the right size. There are different sizes from extra small to extra large, so in a hospital setting, they'll often have these racked out so you can choose the size. If it's in the first aid setting and you're away from a hospital setting, most of the gloves are a standard large size. If you have very large hands, it may be worth putting some extra gloves into your first aid kits. If you have very small hands, a large glove will still fit but you still may want to have gloves that fit you better.

The first thing to do is to make sure that the gloves have got no cuts in them or no breaks or deformities when they're manufactured. Put the glove on to start with and just pull it over. If you've got rings on, you may need to take those off. If it's a standard flat wedding ring, that won't be a problem. When you're putting them on, also make sure you don't put your nails through the glove itself. Once the glove's on, then just make sure that the bands are fully turned down, so you've got maximum cover right up to the wrist. And then you've got the gloves on. Check them the first time, and then you can deal with the patient. If you're going between patient one and patient two, in hospital settings is quite easy because you always take your gloves off on the hospital bed, but out in the first aid world, you may need to put the second pair of gloves on for the second person.

The important thing is removing the gloves. Again, in a hospital setting, when there's a bin there, you can just push a pedal and drop the gloves in. It's quite straightforward. In a first aid setting, we need to make sure that the gloves are fully inside-out so we can keep them nice and safe. Start with just pinch the outside of the glove, pull the first one off so you're turning it inside-out. Scrunch that up into your hand and then again take the back here and just pull the second glove so that everything is inside, and it's quite safe to touch this. What we can do with this is then dispose of it correctly into some bio-hazard bags, and these bio-hazard bags seal up. You've just got a self-adhesive strap on the back so these are quite good when you're out and about, or in a hospital setting, you may have the bins you can drop them in quite easily.

The other thing with infection risks is using sharps disposals. Make sure that you use something like this for a syringe. All the biggest sharps bins can dispose of anything. Make sure in a first aid setting that you don't starting throwing stuff away in general waste. You've got to make sure it stays safe. If the emergency services have been called and you're dealing with somebody out in the street, then you can always give any potentially infected waste to the ambulance crew and dispose of it in their bags. The other thing you need to make sure is when you're doing respirations. In a hospital setting, you use a bag valve mask. It's quite straightforward. In the first aid settings, you may not have one available, so you may well need to use something like a pocket mask. These usually come in a hard case and all you do with them is just pop them out. The elastic goes around the back of the head. On the top here, you've got a one-way valve. It just blows air in and it's exhaled out through here so it keeps you safe from their breaths and potential fluids. And down on the bottom here, you can add oxygen if you have that available. So using a pocket mask is ideal.

The other type of mask you can use is the re-breather mask or just a standard plastic mask. These come in lots of different shapes and sizes from small ones that just go on your key rings. Just pop them over and on the plastic, you've got a one-way valve there, so it's an easy way of keeping yourself safe away from the hospital setting. Final thing with keeping your hands clean, you want to make sure that you wash your hands correctly before and after working on any patient, but also the use of hands gels are very good. Hand gels don't replace washing. They're not going to take away blood off your hands, but they will keep yourself clean. Make sure that you put the gel on and you rub it in well and make sure you get in between your fingers, under your nails. Exactly the same protocols of putting the gel on as if you were washing your hands in a sink.

And finally, we've looked at infection risks, but make sure you keep safe yourself. In hospital settings, lots of people around, it's relatively straightforward. Everyone knows what they've got to do. In a first aid environment, we need to stop and start with "think and then act". Stop, have a look around, think about what you going to do and then act. Where problems do occur is someone would just go straight in to see someone and straightaway they go and touch them. It may well be this person is on the floor and unconscious because they've been electrocuted, which would put you in a large amount of risk. If you're dealing with something out in the street, there are car accidents, things like that, look out for any other potential dangers around you. Dangers exist in hospitals. It could be the patient themselves, it could be the people around, it could be family. But out and about, away from a hospital setting, these dangers are massive so try and always stop, think and act before you actually start helping a patient.