When it comes to choosing veterinary gloves, there’s not much to think about. As a Distribution Sales Rep (DSR), you visit practices, they place their glove orders with you, and that’s it.
Well… not so fast. As you know, there are hundreds of glove choices, and it can be overwhelming for your customers to try and pick the right gloves for different needs and staff members.
That’s why we’re devoting this post to the ins and outs of choosing the right exam gloves.
In truth, there are many options to consider in this category of professional gloves.
We asked Brooke Rosenberg, Vice President of Marketing at Ventyv™, to give us the lowdown on exam gloves.
What’s important to know about veterinary exam gloves?
Brooke; “With all disposable exam gloves, it is important to know the way in which they’ll be used (the types of procedures) and the most common usage or length of use they’ll need to stand up against.”
Are there many options for choosing exam gloves? If so, how does one choose the right one?
Brooke: “There are hundreds if not thousands of brands out there for exam gloves. Choosing the right option comes down to the items mentioned above as well as finding a reliable, consistent brand. You want to know the glove you fall in love with is the glove you will receive time and time again.”
What are the size, material, and cost considerations?
Brooke: “The most common exam glove sizes are XS-XL. The most common types of gloves are nitrile, latex and vinyl.
Many factors come into play including latex allergies, environmental concerns (for instance, vinyl is not biodegradable and has short breakthrough times).
Price comes in (the decision making) for many practices. Given the fact that nitrile and latex are very close in price now, most users are choosing a nitrile glove."
Have there been recent advances in exam gloves… and if so, what are they?
Brooke: “The biggest advances over the past few years have been in the weight and thickness of nitrile gloves. We have seen nitrile gloves getting thinner and lighter, in an effort to reduce hand fatigue and make them more comfortable for the wearer.”
Does your company recommend a certain type of exam glove for veterinary use?
Brooke: “We would recommend trying several of our nitrile glove options and seeing what feels the best for your office. All our gloves will give great protection, so it comes down to personal preference.”
In closing, what’s the main difference between exam and surgical gloves — and why can’t they just be interchangeable?
Brooke: “There are several differences between these two types of gloves.
The biggest difference is that surgical gloves are sterile, and unless stated, exam gloves are not.
Surgical gloves are also left/right-hand specific, where exam gloves are ambidextrous.
Surgical gloves are also very size-specific, usually from 5.5-9, and they come in pairs. Exam gloves come in boxes XS-XL with 100-300 individual gloves, depending on the brand.
Finally, surgical gloves are very common in neoprene, polyisoprene, and latex… where the most common exam glove materials are nitrile, latex, and vinyl.
It’s quite possible that your customers aren’t aware of the latest innovation in exam gloves, or the various options available to them.
For instance, not only does the exam glove product line offer the options Brooke mentioned above, there’s the consideration of powder versus powder-free gloves.
Some professionals prefer powdered gloves because the coating inside makes the gloves easier to put on, keeps hands dry, and can minimize irritation from cleaning products. Others prefer powder-free gloves due to allergic reactions or they don’t want powder residue on their hands.
As you’re visiting the practices in your territory, you may want to have a deeper-than-usual conversation about exam gloves to bring up all these options.
What’s great for some staff members isn’t ideal for others — and you’ll be doing them a big favor by helping them discover gloves that are more useful and comfortable for each team member.