Robert is interviewing for a nursing position with St. Vincent Hospital in Portland, OR. During the interview he is asked to explain the difference between “universal precautions” and “personal protective equipment.”

How should Robert answer this question?

Personal protective equipment refers to equipment designed to reduce or prevent exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials. Examples of personal protective equipment are: disposable gloves, gowns, face masks, eye shields, and lab coats.

Universal precautions include the use of personal protective equipment, but also include engineering and work practice controls designed to prevent exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials.