Donning and Doffing PPE – Video Included

Female medical worker and gearwearing protective mask wearing

Although most of us learned the proper donning and doffing PPE procedures both in school and in orientation, some physician offices or other places of work requiring PPE due to COVID-19 may not have adequately trained their non-medical personnel on how to put on or take off PPE. Below we’ve outlined the proper procedures and techniques along with video and photos. 

don2[ don ]SHOW IPA


verb (used with object),  donned, don·ning.

to put on or dress in: 

to don one’s clothes.

Below is a video that outlines the procedures to properly put on (Don) PPE. 

Step 1: Check what PPE is required 

Step 2: Perform hand hygiene for 15-20 seconds

Step 3: Donn your gown by closing the back of the neck, and tie the waist, making sure all clothing is covered. 

Step 4: Place your fit-tested N95 mask over your nose and under your chin. Place the top strap at the crown of your head then stretch the bottom strap over your head to the back of your neck. Use two fingers to mold the nose strip to ensure a secure fit and tight seal. 

Step 5: Without touching the mask, perform a seal test. Without touching the mask put your hands near the top and bottom of the mask while taking deep breathing in and out to make sure no air escapes. If you feel air, adjust the mask until no air escapes. 

Step 6: Donn face shield by placing the strap at the back of the head, ensuring the shield is resting in the middle of your forehead. 

Step 7: Put on gloves one at a time, ensuring they are snug over the gown, making sure no skin is exposed. 

Step 8: When entering a negative pressure room, ensure each door is securely closed behind you. 

doff[ dof, dawf ]SHOW IPA


verb (used with object)

to remove or take off, as clothing.

Below is a video that outlines the procedures to properly take-off (Doff) PPE. 

Step1: When doffing your PPE, step into the anteroom ensuring the door is closed behind you

Step 2: Remove the first glove by pulling it up and away from the middle of your palm, ensuring no skin contact. Hold glove in the other hand. To remove the second glove, place a finger on the inside in the clean area of the glove then push it off. Balling up both gloves together. Throw it in the garbage. 

Step 3: Remove your gown by first opening at the neck, then at the waist. From the back of the neck, slowly pull it out and away from you, ensuring you are only touching the gown inside as you roll it into a ball and throw it into the garbage. 

Step 4: Perform hand hygiene for 15-20 seconds. 

Step 5: Remove the face shield by leaning forward, pulling the strap forward and away from you. Place into the garbage.

Step 6: Remove the N95 mask without touching the exterior part of the mask. Again, pull it forward and away from you by starting with the bottom strap then the top. Place it into the garbage. 

Step 7: Perform hand hygiene again. 

In addition to the proper ways to Donn and Doff (put on and take off) PPE, there are also a few resources on what types of masks to use when what type of cloth mask is more protective and how to sew your own masks at home. 

Face Masks: Everything You Need To Know To Flatten The Curve
Source: SurvivalAtHome.com

Considering joining the front lines? Here’s what you need to know before you get started. Not feeling well-versed and wished you knew more? A few companies are offering free COVID-19 training courses online

This is not medical advice. Please consult a healthcare professional. Based on the current COVID-19 situation and availability of personal protective equipment (PPE), CDC has specific recommendations; please review their webpage for more information. As they learn more about COVID-19 and as the needs of the response or availability of PPE within U.S. healthcare facilities changes, they will update their information.

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About the author

Ashley Carty

Ashley Carty is a seasoned medical professional with over 8 years of experience working at the top hospitals in Southern California, including Hoag, Saddleback Memorial, and UCSD.

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