Care Certificate Standard 15 – Activity 15.1d Answers

Care Certificate 15.1d Answers

Care Certificate Standard 15 Answers Guide - Infection prevention and control

Care Learning

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This guide will help you answer The Care Certificate Standard Unit 15.1d List common types of personal protective clothing, equipment and procedures and how and when to use them.

Certainly! Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is crucial in health and social care settings to minimise exposure to hazards that can cause serious injuries and illnesses.

Common Types of PPE in Health and Social Care

Here’s an overview of the common types of personal protective clothing, equipment, and procedures, along with guidance on how and when to use them:



  • Non-sterile gloves: Typically used for routine care and cleaning tasks.
  • Sterile gloves: Used for sterile procedures such as wound care.

When to Use:

  • When you might come into contact with bodily fluids, including blood, urine, faeces, or vomit.
  • When handling soiled linens or waste.
  • During direct patient care if there is a risk of exposure to infectious agents.
  • When cleaning surfaces, equipment, or the environment.


  • Ensure hands are clean and dry before putting on gloves.
  • Replace gloves between patient interactions and immediately if they become torn or heavily soiled.
  • Remove and dispose of gloves correctly to avoid contamination, and perform hand hygiene immediately after removing gloves.

Aprons and Gowns


  • Disposable plastic aprons: Used for short-duration tasks such as general patient care and cleaning.
  • Isolation gowns: Used when there is a significant risk of contamination from infectious materials.

When to Use:

  • When performing tasks that may lead to soiling of clothes with bodily fluids.
  • During patient bathing, toileting, and when changing bed linens.
  • When handling hazardous waste or materials that could be infected or heavily soiled.
  • Isolation gowns are used during the care of patients known or suspected to have highly infectious diseases.


  • Wear disposable aprons for short-duration care tasks and discard them after use.
  • Use isolation gowns for high-risk situations and ensure they cover the torso and fit snugly.
  • Discard gowns/ aprons properly according to infection control protocols.

Face Masks and Respirators


  • Surgical masks: For general patient care tasks.
  • N95/FFP3 respirators: For protection against airborne particles, especially in cases like tuberculosis or during aerosol-generating procedures.

When to Use:

  • Surgical masks are used to protect against splashes and large droplets.
  • N95/FFP3 respirators are used when there’s a risk of inhaling airborne infectious agents.
  • During respiratory illness outbreaks, such as flu pandemics or COVID-19.


  • Ensure masks fit securely over nose and mouth.
  • Avoid touching the mask while wearing it.
  • Replace masks if they become damp, damaged, or worn for extended periods.
  • Discard and perform hand hygiene after removing the mask.

Eye and Face Protection


  • Goggles: To protect against splashes of infectious or hazardous materials.
  • Face shields: Provide a broader range of protection for the face.

When to Use:

  • When there is a risk of splashes or sprays of blood, body fluids, secretions, or excretions.
  • During procedures that may generate projectiles or splashes, such as suctioning or certain surgical interventions.


  • Ensure they fit properly and provide unobstructed visibility.
  • Clean and disinfect reusable eye protection according to manufacturer instructions.
  • Discard single-use face and eye protection appropriately.



  • Non-slip shoes: To prevent slips and falls.
  • Water-resistant or protective shoes: When there is a risk of exposure to bodily fluids or hazardous materials.

When to Use:

  • During routine care and activities within the healthcare environment.
  • When floors are wet or potentially contaminated.


  • Wear footwear that is designed for safety and infection control.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect footwear.
  • Replace footwear if they become damaged or heavily contaminated.


Proper use of PPE involves understanding both the types of PPE available and the specific contexts in which each should be used. Here’s a quick guide on how and when to use them:

  • Gloves: For all contact with bodily fluids and contaminated items. Replace between different care activities and follow hand hygiene protocols.
  • Aprons and Gowns: To protect clothing and skin from contamination. Use disposable ones for routine care and more robust isolation gowns for high-risk scenarios.
  • Masks and Respirators: For protection against infectious respiratory droplets and airborne pathogens. Surgical masks for general use and N95/FFP3 respirators for high-risk airborne diseases.
  • Eye and Face Protection: When there is a risk of splashes or sprays impacting the face. Ensure they fit well and provide necessary coverage.
  • Footwear: To ensure safety and avoid contamination from floor-based hazards. Non-slip, water-resistant, and disinfectable footwear are essential.

By properly using PPE, care workers can protect both themselves and those they care for, ensuring a safer and healthier environment in health and social care settings.

Example Answers for Activity 15.1d List common types of personal protective clothing, equipment and procedures and how and when to use them.

Here are some example answers from the perspective of a care worker completing the RQF Level 2 Diploma in Care, Unit 15.1d:

1. Example Answer: Using Non-sterile Gloves

As a care worker, I use non-sterile gloves daily to protect against exposure to bodily fluids and other contaminants. For instance, I always wear gloves when assisting a resident with personal hygiene tasks, such as bathing or toileting. I also use them when changing bed linens that may be soiled or handling waste materials. After each task, I remove the gloves carefully to avoid contamination, dispose of them in a designated waste bin, and perform hand hygiene immediately.

2. Example Answer: Wearing Disposable Aprons

In my role, I frequently use disposable plastic aprons, especially when performing tasks where my clothes might get soiled. For example, when helping a resident to eat or cleaning up after a meal, I wear an apron to protect my uniform from food splashes. After completing the task, I carefully remove the apron, ensuring not to touch the outer contaminated side, and dispose of it following infection control guidelines. I then wash my hands thoroughly.

3. Example Answer: Using Face Masks

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we were required to wear surgical masks at all times while on the care floor to prevent the spread of the virus. I ensure my mask fits securely over my nose and mouth and avoid touching it while wearing it. If I need to assist a resident who is coughing or showing respiratory symptoms, I wear a mask to protect both myself and the resident. I change to a new mask if it becomes damp or after a prolonged period of use.

4. Example Answer: Eye Protection

When providing care to a resident who has a wound that requires irrigation, I wear goggles to protect my eyes from potential splashes of bodily fluids. It’s crucial to ensure that the goggles fit properly and provide adequate protection. I clean and disinfect the goggles according to our facility’s protocol after each use and store them in a sanitary condition to prevent contamination.

5. Example Answer: Using Non-slip Shoes

I always wear non-slip, water-resistant shoes while at work to prevent slips and falls, especially when working in areas where spills are common, such as the kitchen or bathroom. These shoes also protect my feet from any potential spillages of bodily fluids or chemicals. I regularly clean and disinfect my shoes to maintain hygiene and replace them if they become damaged.

6. Example Answer: When to Use Sterile Gloves

In certain situations, such as when assisting the nurse with wound care or any invasive procedures, I use sterile gloves to maintain a sterile field and prevent infection. Sterile gloves are packaged individually, and I ensure to follow proper technique when putting them on to avoid contamination. After the procedure, I dispose of the gloves as clinical waste and perform hand hygiene.

These example answers show a clear understanding of the types of personal protective clothing and equipment, as well as usage in various care scenarios.

By contextualising each type of PPE within specific tasks, the care worker shows practical application of infection control measures, which is essential for maintaining a safe environment for both care workers and residents.

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