Doing your job, even in a hospital setting, requires you to remain alert and aware of your surroundings. There are dangers in every work environment; recognizing potential risks is vital to staying safe. Working as an RN or LPN somewhere that involves contact with blood may seem challenging, but the truth is that these jobs aren’t nearly as risky as they sound.
Regardless, you must take precautions to stay safe at work, especially since bloodborne pathogens pose a risk to anyone who contacts them. We’re here to help you understand what bloodborne pathogens are, why they’re so dangerous and how you can protect yourself in the workplace. Keep reading for all the details of why it is important to undergo bloodborne pathogen training!
What are Bloodborne Pathogens?
Bloodborne pathogens are microorganisms that can be contracted through contact with infected blood. While these pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses, can be found in various places and organisms, the risk of contracting them is exceptionally high when handling blood samples from infected individuals.
What makes bloodborne pathogens so dangerous is that they can be easily transmitted from one person to another. All you need to do is contact an infected person’s blood, and you can contact the pathogens.
This can happen in various ways, including through needle-stick injuries, cuts and open sores on the skin, and eye contact. The CDC estimates that roughly 600,000 individuals are diagnosed with a bloodborne illness yearly. While most can recover, it’s important to note that some diseases can be fatal.
Why Are Bloodborne Pathogens so Dangerous?
Bloodborne pathogens are hazardous because they’re transmitted through blood. This means that they can be found in the blood of a wide range of individuals, from newborns and the elderly to people who have been vaccinated and those who have been treated for an illness. This means anyone who comes into contact with infected blood is at risk of contracting these pathogens and passing them on to others.
You may not even realize that you’ve been exposed to infected blood and are at risk of contracting a disease since many people don’t show any symptoms.
How Can You Protect Yourself at Work?
Knowing what bloodborne pathogens are and their risks is a good start, but it’s also essential to know how to protect yourself at work. Here are a few tips and tricks:
- Wash your hands regularly
- Make sure to use gloves and other personal protective equipment
- Stay hydrated to avoid getting sick
- Don’t try to treat an infected wound
- Report any potential exposure to infected blood or bodily fluids
- Educate those around you about the dangers of bloodborne pathogens
- Don’t share equipment or items that come in contact with blood and other bodily fluids – Avoid direct contact with blood as much as possible
- Report any issues with safety at your workplace to your supervisor
These measures can go a long way in helping you stay safe. Make sure to educate yourself on the risks associated with your job and bloodborne pathogens in general, so you know what you’re up against.
Bloodborne pathogens pose a serious risk to anyone infected with infected blood. These pathogens can be contracted through various methods, including needle-stick injuries, cuts and open sores on the skin, and contact with the eyes. Depending on the situation, these pathogens may be contracted through contact with the blood of an infected patient, the blood of a colleague, or the blood of someone who has been injured. It’s important to know what bloodborne pathogens are and the dangers they pose so you can protect yourself in the workplace.