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As a healthcare provider, you will be already aware of universal precautions. But when you are away from the healthcare setting, 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. It is important to gain their consent before you treat them. If the person is unconscious then still ask them. If they don't reply, then again, you have deemed consent. Act in good faith 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.

Initially, make sure you are protected against infection. To reduce the risk you should always wear disposable gloves and it is a good idea to make sure that you carry gloves with you, for any emergencies that may occur outside of your workplace.

When choosing gloves, make sure you select the right size. There are different sizes from extra small to extra-large, in a hospital setting these are often set out so that you can select the right size,

The first thing to do is to make sure that the gloves have got no cuts in them or no breaks or deformities. 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. Once it’s on, make sure that the bands are fully turned down, so you've got maximum cover right up to the wrist. Once you’re happy with this you can begin to work on your casualty.

Removing gloves safely is also important, to make sure that bodily fluids do not come into contact with your skin as you take them off. In a hospital setting, when there are bins available, you can just push a pedal and drop the gloves in, but in a general first aid setting, you need to make sure that the inside of the glove that may be contaminated is not exposed and you do this by making sure that the gloves are fully inside out once removed. Start by just pinching the outside of the glove, and pull the first one off so you're turning it inside-out. Scrunch that up into your hand and then take the back of the other glove and just pull it over the first one so that everything is inside, that way your skin never comes into contact with the potentially infectious material. The glove can then be disposed of correctly into the correct, sealable bio-hazard bags.

Whether in a hospital setting treating patients or dealing with multiple casualties outside of work, gloves must be changed between treating different individuals to avoid cross-infection.

Used sharps also pose a high infection risk. There are containers like this one which are designed for disposing of used syringes and needles, in hospital settings they will have larger sharps bins available. When dealing with first aid outside work it is important to consider what you are going to do with any contaminated waste, the emergency services may well be able to take any items from you and dispose of them safely for you.

 If you need to perform respirations in a hospital setting you would use a bag valve mask, outside of work there may not be one available, in first aid to provide protection pocket masks or face masks are used.

Hand gels are useful, they will never be as good as correct hand-washing with soap and water, but when you don’t have access to running water they are a good option, you would apply the gel and rub it in thoroughly making sure you get in between your fingers and under your nails, exactly the same way that you would if you were washing your hands in a sink. When helping someone outside of the hospital setting,  it is important to remember that there are other risks you would need to consider, first aiders are trained to s to Stop, Think and then Act.  Make sure that you have taken into account any potential dangers that may cause you harm,  this could be traffic, electricity, fumes or toxic substances,  as a healthcare provider your reaction may be to go straight in and help but you should always consider and protect yourself when outside of the hospital setting to make sure that it is safe for you to do so.