Archive of Protecting Healthcare Personnel Tools and Resources

Retired Guidance and Resources

The following guidance and resources have been retired and are included on this webpage for historic and reference purposes only. These are no longer considered current CDC guidance.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in Healthcare Settings – Trainer’s Information

Introduction and Purpose

CDC has developed this slide set for use by staff development, infection control, and occupational health personnel for training healthcare personnel on how to select and use personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect themselves from exposure to microbiological hazards in the healthcare setting. The need for training materials on PPE use was identified during the worldwide outbreak of SARS when observations of PPE use among healthcare personnel showed potentially unsafe practices when donning, using, and removing PPE.

The information that follows describes how this program can be used to enhance adult learning. Trainers may use all or part of this material and enhance as needed to optimize the learning environment and meet audience needs.

Training goal:

Increase the safety of the healthcare work environment through improved use of PPE by healthcare personnel.

Training objectives:

  • Provide information on the selection and use of PPE in healthcare settings
  • Practice how to safely put on and remove PPE

Learner objectives:

At the end of this presentation, the healthcare worker should be able to:

  • Identify the appropriate circumstances for which each type of PPE is indicated
  • List at least 3 safe practices that should be followed when using PPE
  • Correctly demonstrate how to don and remove PPE

Use of the slide set:

The slide set is designed to be a didactic and interactive presentation aimed at a healthcare audience. However, the slide set may also be used for individual self-study or adapted for web application.

Presentation Time: 60-120 minutes
Didactic presentation – 35-45 minutes
Question and answer – 10-15 minutes
PPE demonstration – 15 minutes
PPE return demonstration – 30 – 60 minutes


This material is targeted for nurses, physicians, technicians, and ancillary personnel (e.g., housekeepers, maintenance workers) in healthcare settings.

Language level:

The text is at a ~12th grade language level. The trainer may need to simplify language to make the presentation appropriate for some audiences.

Overview of the Materials:

There are slides with accompanying text. The slides are grouped into three sections for ease of adaptation to audience needs.

Section I

This section provides an overview of PPE in healthcare and reviews PPE terminology, how to select it, and the types of PPE available for use in healthcare settings. (NOTE: Trainers should plan to bring samples of PPE used in that particular healthcare setting or by the target audience.)

Section II

This section describes how to safely put on (don), use, and remove PPE.

Section III

This section describes when to use PPE based on task that is to be performed. The concepts of Standard and Expanded Precautions and the criteria for PPE use within those precautions are discussed.

Following the didactic part of this section, it is recommended that trainers provide a demonstration of proper PPE use and, if time permits, that the audience give a return demonstration of PPE use. Because this entire program is quite lengthy, incorporating respirator training and fit-testing is NOT advised.

Suggestions for the trainer

Ice breaker (5 minutes)

Ask members of the audience to respond to one of the following questions

  • For you, what is the biggest challenge (problem) in using personal protective equipment (write down the answers)
  • Do you feel protected when you are wearing PPE?
  • What type of PPE do you use most frequently?
  • What are the biggest mistakes that you think healthcare workers make when wearing PPE?
  • Other?

PPE return demonstration (30-60 minutes)

  • Divide the group into teams of 3 or 4. Have each person act as an observer at least twice and comment on the correctness of PPE donning and removing of another team member.
  • If the group is exceptionally large, divide into 4 groups, and have one person demonstrate proper PPE donning/removal and allow others to comment.

Other training exercises

Develop patient scenarios that describe the type of interaction that will occur between the healthcare worker and patient. Divide into small groups, have each group discuss one scenario and report back to the larger group what PPE they would use.


  • AV projector and screen
  • Flip chart and pens
  • Supply of PPE
  • Other