Health care workers are routinely exposed to bloodborne pathogens in their daily work through blood and body fluid contamination. One of the most frequent routes of exposure is through contaminated needles and sharps. Even though specific healthcare personnel is responsible for administered needle injections, any healthcare provider could be at-risk for exposure when there is a breach in safety protocol. The Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act implemented in 2001 targeted thehigh-risk of exposure. Hepatitis and HIV are well-known bloodborne pathogens, but there are more than 20 diseases transmitted through contaminated sharps.This course is to teach the learner on needlestick and sharps safety to lessen the risk of exposure by increasing knowledge of safe practices. Sharps safety and needlestick prevention are critical issues for healthcare workers. Healthcare workers are not the only individuals at risk for percutaneous exposure to pathogens. People who work with body art or tattoos, correctional department workers, first responders, and maintenance and waste workers at risk.
- List principles of safe needle practice.
- Define percutaneous injury
- Identify jobs with increased risk of occupational exposure
- Describe OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogen Standard
- List ways bloodborne pathogens are transmitted
- Define of needlestick and sharps injuries.
- List critical components of the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act
- List steps for reporting of occupational needlestick/sharps injuries
- Percutaneous Exposure
- Bloodborne Pathogen Standard
- Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act
- Cycle of Disease Transmission
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
To protect workers who are at-risk for occupational exposure to infectious materials (OPIM), the Occupational Health and Safety Administration instituted the Bloodborne Pathogen Standard. This standard is to protect workers who may come in contact with OPIM as an occupational hazard.