VCOM College Catalog and Student Handbook

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 drug prophylaxis (when indicated) is time sensitive when the exposure is considered a high-risk exposure. It is recommended that students use one of the following options when seeking medical care post-exposure (the Associate Deans can advise students on their options but will not initiate post-exposure care, prescribe medications, or order labs): • Clinical Site Employee/Occupational Health Center (if directed to use this service by the DSME/Site Coordinator/preceptor) o Students are not actual employees of any hospital, clinic, or practice where they are rotating and they are not covered under workman’s compensation or the policies of the institution if they suffer an accident or injury. The hospital may or may not offer use of the employee/occupational health center to students. This is the prerogative of the clinical site.


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