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This guide explains how to put on sterile surgical gloves in the operating theatre setting (surgical gloving). As a result, this guide assumes you have already decontaminated your hands and donned a sterile surgical gown using an appropriate surgical scrubbing procedure.

Check out the Surgical Gloving Technique OSCE mark scheme here.

Check out our complete guide to scrubbing, gowning and gloving here.


Gloving Technique

Step 1

Open the inner glove packet that you have previously dropped onto your sterile field.


Step 2

Pick up one glove by the folded cuff edge with your sleeve-covered hand.

Step 3

Place the glove on the opposite gown sleeve facing palm down, with the glove fingers pointing towards you.

The palm of the hand inside the gown sleeve must be facing upward toward the palm of the glove.

Step 4

Place the glove’s rolled cuff edge at the seam that connects the sleeve to the gown cuff.

Grasp the bottom rolled cuff edge of the glove with the thumb and index finger of the hand the glove is on top of.

Step 5

While holding the glove’s cuff edge with one hand, grasp the uppermost edge of the glove’s cuff with the opposite hand.

Step 6

Continuing to grasp the glove, stretch the cuff of the glove over the hand.

Step 7

Using the opposite sleeve covered hand, grasp both the glove cuff and sleeve cuff seam and pull the glove onto the hand.

Pull any excessive amount of glove sleeve from underneath the cuff of the glove.

Step 8

Using the hand that is now gloved put on the second glove in the same manner.

Check to make sure that each gown cuff is secured and covered completely by the cuff of the glove.

Step 9

Adjust the fingers of each glove as necessary so that they fit appropriately.


Key Points

  • Keep your hands in your sleeves so that you do not touch the glove on the outside of the gown with your bare hands.
  • Keep your hands above your waist and in front of you
  • Ensure you do not touch anything around you that is not sterile – this includes your face, mask, and hat!


1. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence 2008 Clinical Guideline 74 – Surgical Site Infection: Prevention and treatment of surgical site infection London, NICE

2. World Health Organisation 2009 WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care (revised Aug 2009) [online] www.who.int/gpsc/en [Accessed August 2018]

3. The Association for Perioperative Practice. A guide to surgical hand antisepsis 2014. [Accessed August 2018]


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