How to Use a Face Mask / Surgical Mask

droplet precaution sign

Despite its name, a surgical mask is worn in a lot more situations other than while giving surgery. If your patient is on isolation precautions, depending on the type they are on, you may be required to wear one when you partake in their care. It is also a good idea to wear one yourself if you are ill to help prevent the spread of infection.

Other masks  How to wear one  Different situations  Pin

Other Masks

There are many other kinds of masks worn for different situations.

Respirators are worn for infectious diseases that float easily through the air.

Face shields cover the eyes as well as the nose and mouth.

Oxygen masks are usually for the patient because they provide breathing assistance.

There are even pocket masks which provide protection while giving CPR.

You should make sure you and/or your patient wear the right one. All of them are important for each situation.

unused surgical mask

How to Wear One

Most surgical masks are worn around the ears. There are two elastic loops on each side. You place one behind each ear so your mouth and nose are covered. Some masks require you to stretch them out longways so they go under your chin all the way up to the top of your nose.

This is the tricky part, the end that goes around your nose should have a bendable wire going through it. You have to bend that wire around your nose so nothing can get in between your nose and the mask. You're basically molding the mask to fit your face.

Just like medical gloves and an isolation gown, you should only use a mask once. If you aren't wearing gloves when you take it off, you should take it off at the ears so you don't touch the mask itself with your bare hands.

Different Situations

used surgical mask

Even if the patient isn't on any kind of isolation, if they are coughing or sneezing it's a good idea to wear one. But it works both ways. If you are coughing or sneezing, you should think of the patient and wear one yourself.

The most common reason why I have to wear one while working at a hospital is because the patient is suffering from neutropenia. This makes them extra susceptible to infection. You should encourage everybody who comes into contact with a neutropenic patient to wear one.

Make sure you educate not only yourself, but others about surgical masks. They can be useful not only in hospitals, but everywhere else as well. Doing so can help stop the spread of infection.

Pin this page!

How to use a surgical mask

Medical Hygiene Basics

List of Caregiver Supplies and Equipment

From How to Use a Face Mask / Surgical Mask to Home

New! Comments

Have something to say about what you just read? Leave a comment in the box below.

Recent Articles

  1. Online Caregiver Training and Lifelong Learning for Caregivers

    May 15, 20 03:21 PM

    Online caregiver training makes it easy to find helpful information 24/7. If you are a family caregiver or a professional caregiver, you know that the list of what caregivers should know is never-endi…

    Read More

  2. Blood Types: What You Need to Know - Caregiverology

    Apr 19, 20 12:27 AM

    This page will tell you everything you need to know about the different blood types. Most of the information has been gathered from the American Red Cross

    Read More

  3. In Home Care or Assisted Living: Which is Right for Your Senior?

    Apr 07, 20 03:13 PM

    Approximately 90 percent of seniors want to continue living in their own homes as they get older, according to AARP.

    Read More