Blood Borne Pathogens Exposure Policy
In the profession of nursing, exposure to blood borne pathogens is an occupational hazard. Blood borne pathogens are defined as being infectious microorganisms that cause disease in humans. They include, but are not limited to, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). As part of its mission, the Nursing Department has developed a plan of action for students, staff and faculty in case of exposure to blood borne pathogens.
In order to meet the specific needs of students, staff and faculty who may have the potential for blood borne pathogen exposure as part of the clinical experience, the Nursing Department has developed this Blood borne Pathogen Exposure Control Plan in accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Blood borne Pathogens Standard, 29 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) 1910.1030.
This Policy applies to all students, faculty and staff within the Nursing Department who may be exposed to a blood borne pathogen as part of the Nursing or Certified Medical Assistant programs.
Faculty in nursing courses that involve clinical experiences and students enrolled in clinical courses are considered to be at risk for potential exposure to blood and other potentially infection bodily fluids.
In the event of exposure to blood and body fluids, immediate follow-up with a medical provider is strongly recommended. The student must report any blood borne exposure to their clinical faculty/staff or appropriate agency personnel immediately. The student assumes the responsibility for all charges associated with such treatment.
Methods of Compliance
- Universal precautions are taught to students and observed by faculty in the nursing program.
- Universal precautions are a part of professional practice by nursing faculty.
Engineering and Work Practice Controls
- Engineering Controls are structural or mechanical devices Columbia College provides, such as, hand washing facilities, sharps containers, and biohazard labels.
- Work Practice Controls are the behaviors necessary to use engineering controls effectively, such as, washing hands after removing personal protective equipment, using sharps containers and applying biohazard labels.
Hand washing facilities:
- Hand washing facilities are readily available and accessible to faculty and students throughout campus facilities. Any contact of skin or mucous membrane with blood or potentially infectious body fluid by students or faculty will be thoroughly cleansed with soap and water or water only as appropriate.
- The nursing laboratories have sinks with a soap dispenser available for use by students and faculty.
- Students in off-campus clinical experiences have ready access to hand washing facilities.
- Students and faculty do not recap contaminated needles under any circumstances in either the classroom or clinical settings. All contaminated sharps are disposed of in containers, which are puncture resistant, labeled, leak proof, and appropriately sealed prior to disposal. Off-site clinical locations handle disposal of sealed containers using approved handling and disposal methods for medical waste. It should be noted that the Nursing Department does not use sharps or needles on humans in the laboratory setting.
Eating, Smoking, Applying Cosmetics or Lip Balm, and Handling Contact Lenses:
- Are prohibited in the nursing laboratory. Drinking is permitted only when activities/skills involve no risk of exposure to blood.
- Are restricted in the clinical facilities to areas in which there is no risk of exposure to contaminated blood or body fluids.
- Procedures involving blood or other potentially infectious materials are taught and performed to minimize splashing, spraying, splattering, and droplet generation.
- Appropriate cleaning procedures are observed for any spills or contamination.
Provision of Protective Equipment/Supplies
- Located in the nursing laboratories are disposable, single use gloves that are worn by students and faculty when the risk of blood contact is present. Disposable gowns and masks are also available to students and faculty for use in the lab, but no procedures are performed there, which would necessitate their use.
- Clinical facilities provide protective equipment/supplies for use by employees, students and faculty
- Faculty and students wear disposable, single use gloves when there is reasonable expectation of contact with blood or other potentially infectious body fluids. This includes, but is not limited to, brushing teeth, contact with wounds or dressings, intravenous injections, or initiation of IV therapy.
- Protective devices for face and eyes are available to students and faculty in clinical facilities. No exposure risk requiring these precautions exists on campus.