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Resident Orientation Manual

Produced by Galveston Shriners Burn Hospital and
The University of Texas Medical Branch Blocker Burn Unit.
Contributors:  Sally Abston MD, Patricia Blakeney PhD, Manubhai Desai MD,
Patricia Edgar RN, CIC, John P Heggers PhD, David N Herndon MD,
Marsha Hildreth RD, Ray J Nichols Jr. MD



   Some of the more significant risks for hospital staff are injuries and infections from handling sharps.  The following guidelines are provided to enhance staff awareness of:

1.  Activities that increase risks of injuries.
2.  Factors contributing to those injuries.
3.  Measures available to protect oneself while working.


Activities that create risks for occupationally acquired injuries
and/or blood-borne pathogens

The following activities are known to increase the risk of an injury and/or infection from sharps -

◦  Inserting intra-vascular catheters.

◦  Restraining patients.

◦  Moving patients with staples in wounds prior to visually inspecting for loose staples.

◦  Removing needle during threading of catheter.

◦  Disassembly of devices.

◦  Transporting sharps any distance to disposal containers; overfilled containers.

◦  Disposal of sharps.

◦  Accessing IV line with needles.

◦  Removing needle devices when disconnecting IV.

◦  Preparing needle and holder.

◦  Withdrawing blood sample.

◦  Recapping needles.

◦  Removing needle from holder.

◦  Opening lancet cover.

◦  Positioning/using lancet.

◦  Passing of instruments in the operating room.

◦  Use of non-safety catheters.

◦  Separate packaging of safety devices.

◦  Not wearing gloves in procedures involving sharps.

◦  Increasing the number of times devices must be assembled/disassembled.

◦  Skill level of employee or failure to adhere to policy and procedure regarding safe use of sharps.

◦  Choosing an inappropriate device for procedure.


  Know situations that put you at risk for sharps injuries and implement the strategies to keep yourself safe.

√  Learn how to use the equipment the hospital uses to help prevent needlesticks.

√  Be sure to report any sharps injury or risk of sharps injury to your supervisor as soon as possible.


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