Handling sharp objects and dangerous bodily fluids is just part of the daily workflow for many different medical professionals. Unfortunately, for some nurses and other medical workers, they may wind up exposed to bodily fluids or medications after an accidental needlestick.
Most medical facilities have very thorough policies in place and special disposal systems for used sharp objects to reduce the likelihood of an accidental needle stick. However, something as simple as a patient flinching strongly could result in a nurse accidentally poking themselves with a contaminated needle. How common are needlesticks, and what risks do they carry?
Self-reported information shows needlestick injuries are common
Most people would assume that medical professionals don’t frequently get hurt on the job because they have experience and there are safety precautions in place to prevent things like needles fixed.
However, an analysis of self-reported data provided by nurses indicates that over 34% of the participants in the study experienced at least one accidental needlestick in the 12 months prior.
How dangerous are needlestick injuries?
For most medical professionals who prick themselves, a little pain and some anxiety will be the only result. A needlestick becomes dangerous if it potentially introduced bodily fluids or medication into a nurse’s body. They could wind up developing a serious illness, such as HIV, because of exposure through a needlestick.
Nurses who get jabbed on the job should report their injury and get proper screening to ensure they don’t wind up sickened. They may also need to seek workers’ compensation benefits in order to cover the costs of their medical testing and care or any wages they miss if they are unable to work.