Review of Purple Nitrile Glove by an RN

Bookmark 7/9/2010 - Written by Eric Gamazon, Contributing Editor

The following is an interview I conducted with R. Howell, RN at University of Chicago Medical Center, regarding her views on medical gloves and our chat turned into a mini-review of Kimberly Clark’s Purple Nitrile exam glove:

Eric Gamazon: Have you given much thought to the medical gloves you wear while working?

R. Howell, RN:  To be honest, I haven’t given too much thought with regards to exam gloves. As long as my gloves have no holes and as long as they fit right, I’m a happy camper.

Editor: It’s ok. I don’t expect nurses to be glove aficionados. If you’re not thinking about your gloves, then you are probably satisfied with the gloves your unit is using. Do you happen to know the glove you use on a regular basis?

Howell: Come to think of it, I remember about 4 years ago someone asked me to try out one of those plastic [vinyl] gloves. I definitely didn’t like it. Our head nurse mentioned those gloves would protect us, but I was skeptical. I mean… what if we are working on a patient and we need to come into contact with blood? I don’t want to have to worry about that and I think most of my colleagues would agree with me. However, I do like the purple glove!

Editor: Ah, the Kimberly-Clark Purple Nitrile glove. So, you’re a fan?

Howell: Yes! We like the KC Purple Nitrile. If you need maximum protection I recommend you get the purple glove. I am told it’s made from a strong material [nitrile] that is stronger than latex. Besides, you can’t beat the color. I have matching purple Crocs with it.

Editor: Indeed you do! To recap, you like the purple nitrile glove because you feel confident the glove will protect you well. Can you give me a comparison with other gloves that stand out?

Howell: Well, I used to use the blue gloves that are also made from nitrile. The blue nitrile glove gave me the same assurance of protection, but the purple nitrile just feels better. I like how the blue nitrile is thick, but that makes it hard doing anything that requires feeling such as inserting a catheter.  But, I’ll take the blue nitrile over the vinyl gloves any day.

Editor: You bring up good points. Nitrile gloves have always had the stigma of having less tactile sensitive compared to the good old latex gloves; however, technology is improving every day and glove manufacturers are making new gloves to solve your pain points. In fact, the vinyl gloves today have improved quite a bit over the years and provide adequate protection against blood borne pathogens. In addition, nitrile gloves are also improving so you can feel better. The purple nitrile is such an improvement Kimberly-Clark has done within their exam glove line.

Howell: I see. I really do like the latex gloves, but our unit has stopped using it all together because of the sensitivity issue some patients get with latex. [chuckle] You know, come to think of it, I guess I do care about what type of medical gloves I use.

Editor: [laughter] You know what you like and you know what you don’t like. Just before I wrap this up, I want to ask you one more question. Is there anything you would like manufacturers to improve with regards to exam gloves?

Howell: Hmmm… well, not sure if anything can be done about this, but you know what it’s like to wear gloves for a long time? I mean, if you have to wear medical gloves for hours the hands just real sweaty and uncomfortable. I usually just exchange them for new gloves, but it will nice to see exam gloves that may be worn comfortably no matter how long I wear it.

Editor: A very good idea indeed. Surgical gloves are known to be much more comfortable than exam gloves. Perhaps glove manufacturers can adopt similar technologies to exam gloves so they can be worn for extended periods of time.

Howell: Let me know when that happens.

Editor: Will do. Thanks again for taking the time to chat with me!

Howell: No problem. It was my pleasure.


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