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Time to take off the gloves
By Joe Bouchard
Published: 02/09/2015

Gloves The following is an installment in "The Bouchard 101", a series featuring "Ice Breaker's" designed to promote training awareness and capabilities in the corrections industry.

Because we are trained to think of everything as potentially infectious, universal precautions are important in our profession. Like teachers and health care staff, corrections professionals work in a petri dish. Can you conceive of corrections without latex gloves?

Many students with no experience inside might not even consider the risks involved in this environment of infection. But, it is up to correctional trainers and professors everywhere to impress upon them the thin barrier between them and harmful infection. There is no way to overemphasize that gloves are critical tools.

Did you ever notice that seasoned staff do almost everything in latex gloves? I now that this is not impossible. But it does take a bit of practice. It is like the first time you used a mouse – you were almost certainly clumsy, but you go used to it.
  1. To start “Time to take off the gloves” select four people from the class.
  2. Give each of them a pair of latex gloves.
  3. All will don their gloves and perform the tsk appointed to them. The object is to do increasingly difficult tasks with the gloves on.
  4. Appoint a judge, a pinnacle of integrity who can award points. If a glove wearer gets a hole in any part of their glove they are disqualified.
  5. The person with the most points can select a small items from the box of dubious prizes as selected and compiled by any good instructor. This can be comprised of fake dog poo, plastic snakes, and the like.
Here is a sample of tasks done while gloved along with suggested point values:
1 point – write your name
2 points – zip up your coat
3 points – button your shirt
4 points – tie your shoe
5 points – pick up a hand full of thumb tacks without piercing the glove
6 points - untie a knot
7 points – make an origami swan
8 points – hammer in a nail
9 points - Extract the nail with the claw
10 points – Deal and play a hand of poker
11 points – counting dollar bills

In case of a tie, winner takes it all, as judged by the impartial judge - shuffle a deck of cards.

After the prize is selected, this is a great time to segue into hygiene in the corrections setting.

Those on the line take gloves for granted. Students and pre-professionals need to understand the importance of universal precautions.

Joe Bouchard is a Librarian employed with the Michigan Department of Corrections and a collaborator with The International Association of Correctional Training Personnel (IACTP). He is also the author of “IACTP’s Corrections Icebreakers: The Bouchard 101, 2014”. The installments in this series include his opinions. The agency for which he works is not in any way responsible for the content or accuracy of this material, and the views are those of the contributor and not necessarily those of the agency. While some material is influenced by other works, all of the icebreakers have been developed by Joe Bouchard.

Visit the Joe Bouchard page

Other articles by Bouchard:


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