What is the Importance of Bloodborne Pathogens Training?

What is the Importance of Bloodborne Pathogens Training?

  Imagine you have an excellent day at work, but you have a patient come in and they admit to having hepatitis C. You know you need to help the patient with their current problem, but you aren't sure how to handle the hepatitis. But, you've had bloodborne pathogens training, so you know what to do to keep yourself and others safe. Do you need a refresher? Keep reading to learn more about bloodborne pathogens training.

What Bloodborne Pathogens Training Includes

When considering the importance of bloodborne pathogens training, you should consider what that training includes. It's one thing to know about bloodborne pathogens, but having the proper training on them can help a variety of workers. Knowing how to deal with bloodborne pathogens in the workplace can help people in and out of the healthcare field. Whether you have a set of new hires or some more experienced employees, they need to learn compliance with various laws. Consider a few things that bloodborne pathogens training covers. That way, you can determine who needs the training and how it can help them in their work.

Bloodborne Diseases

The first thing OSHA bloodborne pathogens training covers is common bloodborne diseases. Common bloodborne diseases include:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Malaria
  • Syphilis
  • Brucellosis

Bloodborne pathogens training may cover other bloodborne diseases. It's important for employees to be able to understand the training and for it to be applicable, so training may vary from country to country or language to language. Employees who need bloodborne pathogens training should receive training on the right diseases. That way, they can know what to look for and how to avoid common pathogens.

Bloodborne Pathogen Transmission

Along with examples of bloodborne pathogens, it's important for training to cover how people can transmit those pathogens. Bloodborne pathogens can transmit through the blood and other bodily fluids. Consider a few methods of transmission.

  • Blood
  • Saliva
  • Semen
  • Vaginal secretions

These fluids can enter the body of an uninfected person through a few ways, such as:

  • Mucous membranes
  • Cuts
  • Bites
  • Abrasions
  • Needle sticks

Knowing and understanding these transmission methods is an important part of bloodborne pathogens training requirements. If you know these methods, you can protect yourself and others when working with infected people or fluids.

Bloodborne Pathogen Standards

OSHA bloodborne pathogens training should also include an explanation of OSHA bloodborne pathogen standards. The OSHA standard 1910.1030 covers what bloodborne pathogens are and other important definitions. Definitions cover different types of employees, work environments, common bloodborne pathogens, and other terms. Employers and employees need to follow these standards as best as possible. Whether someone is doing their bloodborne pathogens training online or in-person, the training should cover the basics. That way, everyone can work together to stay in compliance with this OSHA standard.

Exposure Control Plans

Whether you want to give the training at work or have employees take it outside of work, you should include your exposure control plans. The plan should be available to every employee, and you should put the plan in writing. Then, employees can refer to the plan in the case of a potential or expected exposure. While employees should learn about the plan during training, it can be hard to remember every detail. Give every employee a copy of the written plan. Consider also making a basic outline and putting it on a poster in the workplace. That way, employees can quickly refer to the plan to carry out the right steps.

Exposure Control Procedures

Along with control plans, bloodborne pathogens training should cover exposure control procedures. As an employer, you can have your employees follow certain steps to reduce the chance of exposure to bloodborne pathogens. While you can't avoid the problem entirely, training employees in this area can help. That way, everyone can reduce their risk of getting an infection and passing it to others. Exposure control procedures can include:

  • Having employees get vaccines for diseases such as hepatitis B
  • Procedures for disposing of contaminated waste
  • How to label containers to protect against bloodborne pathogens

Having these procedures in place will help employees, patients, and others in the workplace. Then, you can keep all of those people safe.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is an essential part of your job in healthcare. However, it's important for everyone in the office to know how to use PPE correctly. While wearing masks and gloves can help, they won't be as effective if the wearer doesn't use them properly. Your employees should receive training on what types of PPE they should use to reduce their exposure. They should also know how to put on a mask to form a tight seal on their face and how to wear gloves so that they can still do their work. Now, the exact types of PPE can vary for different employees. Someone working with hepatitis patients may need more protection than someone working the front desk. However, everyone should know how they can effectively use PPE in their roles.

Post Exposure Steps

Another important part of OSHA bloodborne pathogens training is what to do after exposure. Even with the best exposure control plans and procedures, you or your colleagues may face exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Everyone should know what to do after a potential exposure to mitigate the infection. Your training should include how to treat issues such as sharps injuries. Then, the employee can treat their injury. If someone experiences a splash of bodily fluids from a patient, the employee should know how to treat that. Employees should also know how to help each other if they see a coworker have an exposure.

Who Needs Bloodborne Pathogens Training

While it's important to know what bloodborne pathogens training covers, you should also consider who needs the training. In some cases, the need is obvious, but other employees may need it besides the obvious. Anyone who works in or around healthcare should receive some training on bloodborne pathogens. But people outside of hospitals and doctors' offices may also benefit from the training. It doesn't matter if the worker is temporary, part-time, or full-time. Here are a few groups of workers and examples of people who should receive some form of bloodborne pathogens training.

Healthcare Workers

Both employees and volunteers in healthcare should receive bloodborne pathogens training. Examples of specific roles and jobs that need this training include:

  • Nurses
  • Doctors
  • Dentists
  • Dental hygienists
  • Home health care providers
  • Nursing home staff
  • Paramedics
  • Medical students

Anyone else who volunteers at a hospital or nursing facility should also get the training. Even when working outside of a hospital, healthcare workers face risks of exposure to bloodborne pathogens and need the knowledge to handle that. The training will help everyone do their jobs more effectively, and everyone can stay alert. Then, people will be able to treat exposures as soon as they occur.

Healthcare-Adjacent Workers

Anyone who works in a hospital or care facility should also receive bloodborne pathogens training. Workers in healthcare-adjacent fields include:

  • Laundry service staff
  • Housekeeping and janitors
  • Hospice workers
  • Blood and tissue bank staff
  • Laboratory workers
  • Equipment repair technicians

If a hospital employs guards or other security staff, those employees should also receive training on bloodborne pathogens. Reception staff and other hospital or care facility workers should also receive the training.

Non-Healthcare Workers

While hospitals and care facilities have a high risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens, they aren't the only workplaces that need training. Other people who work with people may need bloodborne pathogens training. Consider a few groups of people who may need training even if they aren't in healthcare.

  • Teachers
  • Paraprofessionals
  • School administrators
  • School janitors
  • Firefighters
  • Law enforcement
  • Correctional facility staff
  • Body artists
  • Researchers
  • Funeral home staff
  • Anyone who provides first aid regularly

Workers in a variety of industries should have bloodborne pathogens training. That way, they can understand common pathogens and know how to handle infected materials. Anyone else who is at risk of exposure should receive the training. People who can be especially at risk include janitors, housekeepers, waste haulers, and laundry service workers. If you aren't sure if you or an employee should receive bloodborne pathogens training, play it safe. Then, they know what to do if they have an exposure.

When People Need Training

You may also wonder how often is bloodborne pathogens training required? At-risk employees and volunteers need training when they are a new hire or when they receive their first assignment to an at-risk position. If you reassign an employee to a new position with a risk of exposure, they should receive the training. And even if they don't change positions, employees with new responsibilities that affect their risk level need training on bloodborne pathogens. All at-risk employees should also receive training each year. Workers should also complete bloodborne pathogens certification to prove they understand the standards and regulations. Employers should then keep records of training and certifications.

Why Bloodborne Pathogens Training Matters

For doctors and nurses, the need for bloodborne pathogens training is clear. You work with patients, and you may come into contact with blood and other fluids that may have pathogens. But teachers, firefighters, and laundry staff should also receive the training. That way, they can protect themselves and others in the workplace. Do you or your employees need bloodborne pathogens training? Enroll in our training course today.