Friday, November 11, 2011

Gloves: Its Always Your Size They Are Missing

In my case, it is always the small gloves. And its both the ambulance and the lab.

At one point I was even taking pairs from the hospitals we transported to because we never had any of the good gloves at our station. We had small latex gloves, but they were first off latex and second off so old that as soon as you touched anything with them on they tore, shredded, ripped or otherwise tried to disintegrate on you while you were wearing them. Completely useless darn things.

Thankfully after a few months and some polite asking, new small gloves were ordered and I haven't had much problems at the station since. I did recently run into the lack of gloves problem in my newest lab (they only had large and extra large! Massive problem!) but thanks to some polite asking, I was able to "requisition" some gloves for use.

But what about the gloves themselves? Perhaps I am pickier than most, but I actually do care what kind of gloves I am wearing for what "job". Granted, I care more that I have gloves or not and that they are smalls more than anything else. But if I have a choice, I will exercise it.

Ambulance: Oh the high cuffed glove! How I adore thee! Sometimes you are fairly thick and you do make finding a pulse difficult but you do such a great job at protecting my arms from gunk, particularly in the summer! Touch wise I like the Cerulean blue gloves that seem to have taken up home at my station. They fit reasonably well (as in not super baggy) and they give me great textural input without being too think and breaking.

Lab: This gets broken down into about three categories depending on what I am doing.

For mouse work, give me tight fitting gloves that are fairly thin. I need the grip they provide to hold on to those little buggers when they squirm! Not to mention, tail vain injections with a 27 gauge needle work oh so much better when I have fine dexterity control that the thin gloves provide. Now due to the short cuff, this means I also typically punch holes in the paper gown I have to wear and stick my thumbs through so that the gown stays down on my arms and my gloves stay affixed over the gown. No mouse or mouse parts are making it up my gloves!

For gross organ processing I like those nice thick purple gloves! Great for keeping everything I am doing off my hands, maintain most of my dexterity, and can last for hours on end, a requirement when an experiment takes all day! Sometimes these feel too thick though and can tire out my hands if I need to do fine dexterity work.

For molecular biology work, give me my latest find in gloves! Super thin but incredible textural feedback! Somehow also super durable! I have only ripped maybe two gloves and it was under severe duress! Granted, I will wear the extra small in these gloves because the smalls are a bit to baggy, but it means that I never get my gloves stuck in microcetrofuge tubes or drop anything due to excess glovage! I think these would also make great gloves for the ambulance but I haven't been able to test that yet. Another point for these gloves is that they don't make my hands sweat nearly as much as other, a major bonus when I am in and out of gloves all day!

Anatomy Dissection: Now this is where I am torn. I like a thinner glove because I am not only double gloving but I need some serious dexterity control here. However, I like to stay covered as possible and having my hands not smell like cadaver at the end of the day is great. Sometimes it depends on the dissection, where I will risk thinner gloves for greater dexterity. Either way, these buggers had better be tight fitting! No getting stuck in dissection scissors for me!

Overall, I like a tight fitting glove that has good textural feedback and dexterity. I dislike extra glove floating around my finger tips. But at the end of the day, I they have to hold up and not break so that I can actually get work done!

What are your likes and dislikes about gloves? Ever had a great moment where you didn't have the gloves you wanted?

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