VCOM College Catalog and Student Handbook

placed in puncture-resistant containers for disposal. The puncture-resistant containers should be located as close as practical to the use area. All reusable needles should be placed in a puncture-resistant container for transport to the reprocessing area. General infection control practices should further minimize the already minute risk for salivary transmission of HIV. These infection control practices include the use of gloves for digital examination of mucous membranes and endotracheal suctioning, hand washing after exposure to saliva, and minimizing the need for emergency mouth-to mouth resuscitation by making mouthpieces and other ventilation devices available for use in areas where the need for resuscitation is predictable. Although universal precautions do not apply to human breast milk, gloves may be worn by health care workers in situations where exposures to breast milk might be frequent, e.g., in breast milk banking. Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens Occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens may occur during patient care activities and it is critical that students understand the actions they need to take to protect themselves. To assist students in this process, VCOM has developed the Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens Report Form, which outlines the steps a student needs to take and which must be completed and turned in to the appropriate Associate Dean (depending on what year of the curriculum the student is in) within 24 hours of exposure. Students who have an exposure or potential exposure must follow these steps: 1. Any student who sustains a needle stick or other wound resulting in potential exposure to blood or body fluids should immediately wash the affected area with soap and water. If the exposure involves the eyes or mucous membranes, they should be immediately flushed with copious amounts of water. 2. Following irrigation of the affected area, the exposure should be immediately reported to the appropriate VCOM personnel. The following table outlines the personnel that the student must report the exposure to based on the clinical experience. If the appropriate staff cannot be contacted, it is the student’s responsibility to continue to seek medical attention as directed below.

Clinical Experience Where Exposure Occurred:

Report the Exposure Immediately To:

VCOM Core Clinical Site

DSME, Preceptor, Site Coordinator, OMS 3/OMS 4 Director, and Associate Dean Preceptor, OMS 3/OMS 4 Director and Associate Dean Clinic Director, International Preceptor, Vice Provost for International and Appalachian Outreach, Associate Dean VCOM Clinical Faculty Member in charge of the event and Associate Dean Chair of Underserved Primary Care, Clinical Faculty Member supervising the experience, and Associate Dean

Non-VCOM Clinical Site

International Mission/Rotation Site

Community Outreach

Early Clinical Experience

3. All students involved in an occupational exposure must seek medical attention to ensure that appropriate medical care relating to the exposure is provided. • If the patient has no known infectious diseases, the medical care may only involve simple testing measures. • If know infectious diseases do exist, a more extensive follow up may be needed. The medical follow up is time sensitive and must occur within 2 hours if the exposure involves a known HIV positive source or within 4-6 hours for certain other exposures. Students are reminded that HIV


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