How to Use Sterile Vs. Nonsterile Gloves

Nonsterile Gloves


Select two gloves from a box of nonsterile gloves.


Insert hands inside each glove.


Interlace fingers of both hands to ensure a snug and comfortable fit.

Sterile Gloves Preparation


Place the package of sterile gloves on a clean, flat surface.


Open the outer glove package, exposing the inner one.


Scrub hands thoroughly.


Open the inner glove wrapper, exposing the cuffed sterile gloves.


Pick up the first glove by the cuff, touching only the inside portion of the cuff (the side that will be touching your skin when the glove is on), then slip your other hand inside the glove.


Pick up the second glove by sliding the fingers of your gloved hand under the cuff of the second glove (the side that will not be touching your skin), then slide your other hand inside.


Adjust the fingers as needed for a comfortable fit.

Tips and Warnings

  • Point the fingers of the gloves toward the floor to keep the fingers open. Be careful not to touch anything, and keep your hands above your waist at all times once the gloves are on to avoid contamination. Also be careful not to contaminate the first gloved hand while putting on the second glove. Lastly, if the first glove is not fitted properly, wait to make adjustments after your second glove is on. This will allow both gloves to remain sterile.
  • If you touch any nonsterile surface while wearing sterile gloves, you must put on a new pair of sterile gloves, no matter how clean the surface you touched may seem. Failure to do this could cause an infection in your patient. Nonsterile gloves are not as serious, but if you drop one on the floor, throw it away and get a new one.
  • Unless you work in the medical field, particularly in outpatient or inpatient surgery, you'll probably never need to wear sterile gloves. However, it's not a bad idea to know anyway so that you can further your own medical knowledge, as well as be prepared for any medical situation. Almost everyone in the health care industry uses nonsterile gloves on a daily basis. These are much easier to wear; however, there are few tips you should know.