We saw a post on our Histology Professionals Facebook Page asking this question, and it generated A LOT of comments, nearly 200. We want to get your take…Do you wear gloves when cutting at the microtome?
For some, gloves are a requirement, for some it’s a style choice (manicures are expensive!), while many felt it was simply good safety, after all, it is still a lab. The potential for cross contamination from other areas is possible, not to mention contamination of your slide. Gloves prevent skin cells from getting in the water bath and oil from your skin getting on the slide. Many people simply don’t like getting dirty and gloves prevent you from getting wax on your hands. Someone even suggested just wearing one glove on the hand holding the ribbon! Regardless, there are plenty of reasons to wear gloves when cutting.
For all of the yes’s there were an equal, if not larger, number of no’s with their own set of reasons. Risk of infection wasn’t an issue as the fixative kills any pathogens. Gloves will not protect you from a sharp blade anyways so there was no point in wearing them to reduce risk of injury. Ultimately, the no’s felt it was simply easier and more comfortable to not use them.
Whatever side of the argument you are on probably can be traced back to the way you were taught. There is no right or no wrong answer it seems, just personal preference.
Add your opinion to our poll and check back for an update on the results next week!