Remain Vigilant

S.T.E.P. Situation: Do we have needed supplies in the correct PPE sizes? Is equipment functioning properly? Team members: Are they fatigued? Is there anxiety? Environment: Contamination of any areas/surfaces/equipment. Progress toward goal: Where are we in the process and what comes next? Pacing. Are we moving too fast / need to slow down?

Use the S.T.E.P. practice to make sure the physical surroundings promote safety. With each section, ask yourself questions to ensure you are properly prepared to begin the donning and doffing process.

  • Situation – What is my situation? Do we have correct PPE in the needed sizes? Is the equipment functioning properly? Is the process set up to ensure safety for you and the healthcare providers before and after attending to the patient?
  • Team members – Be familiar with the protocols for donning and doffing PPE. Are the proper people involved? Are they fatigued or feeling anxiety? Are you making them feel safe? Are they wearing and using the proper PPE? Has everyone been trained on the process properly?
  • Environment – Anticipate any contamination of areas, surfaces or equipment. Is the room set up for donning or doffing properly? Are the required waste receptacles available and within reach? Do you have properly marked clean and dirty chairs? Is the proper signage posted where it needs to be?
  • Progress toward goal – Be prepared with the latest procedures, and know them to the point you feel comfortable leading others through them. Do you have the latest checklist? Are you maintaining a connection with the healthcare worker you are assisting? Are you getting verbal confirmation as you complete each step?