Bloodborne pathogens are microorganisms that transmit disease via human blood and other body fluids. When a person is exposed to infected blood the pathogens can pass on to him/her. Therefore, healthcare workers need to be careful as they regularly deal with potentially infected blood and body fluids. Bloodborne pathogen training helps them to know about the precautionary measures to prevent exposure to these harmful pathogens.
Listed below are five important points covered in a bloodborne pathogen training program.
- Route: First, the training teaches you that bloodborne pathogens are transmitted mainly through human blood. Other body fluids like semen, vaginal discharge, amniotic fluid and cerebrospinal fluid may also be carriers for the pathogens. However, tears, sweat, and nose discharge are not usually a pathway for them. Any of these fluids, when mixed with infected blood become more harmful.
- Spread: Bloodborne pathogens can enter a person’s body in many different ways. One very common way is through a prick by a sharp instrument or needle. In hospitals, this may happen accidentally when a nurse, doctor, or laboratory technician handles the infected blood of a patient. Other than this, any wounded or broken skin can also create an entry point for infected blood. Thus, special care must be taken to cover up any wounds. A pregnant mother who is infected can also transmit the disease to her unborn child.
- Diseases: This training will teach you to recognize the various diseases that can be caused by exposure to bloodborne pathogens. HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and Hepatitis B and C are the three main bloodborne diseases. However, less common conditions like leptospirosis infections, syphilis, Babesiosis, Brucellosis, and viral hemorrhagic fever can also be caused as a result of bloodborne pathogen infections.
- Prevention: Bloodborne pathogen training covers the precautionary measures that must be taken to prevent infection by these harmful microorganisms. These precautionary measures are known as universal precautions. Universal precautions refer to the practice of avoiding any contact with human blood and body fluids by using certain protective clothing like masks, gloves, eye gear, to name a few. Other measures like hygiene maintenance, proper disposal of syringes and sharp instruments, sterilization are also covered in the training.
- Action: Despite taking all the precautions, sometimes, accidents can still occur. Once you finish the training you will be able to handle any such accidents in your workplace which may involve you or any other colleague. Firstly, you must treat the person and show him to a doctor to assess the extent of exposure. Next there are several necessary formalities to complete, like reporting the incident to the appropriate people, filling reports, and follow-up. This will equip you to act immediately and prevent any further damage that may be caused due to the exposure.
If your company needs more components of a Bloodborne Pathogen Program, check out what the EHS Center has available for members here
Bloodborne pathogen training not only provides you with knowledge about the various prevention and treatment measures, but also trains you how to practically follow procedure to keep yourself safe.