POLICY REGARDING INDIVIDUALS WITH BLOODBORNE PATHOGENS AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES
Issues of Confidentiality
- Local and state regulations regarding confidentiality and reporting of bloodbome pathogens test results should be observed. Special care shall be taken to preserve the dignity and confidentiality of the bloodbome pathogens infected student or college staff. The need to ensure appropriate confidentiality shall be balanced with the need to ensure appropriate precautions to prevent the spread of the disease.
- There should be no routine requirement that students, employees or clinic patients respond to questions about the existence of bloodbome pathogens and no type of testing for the bloodbome pathogens antibody will be part of the admission process. It is appropriate to encourage new students or employees to inform campus health authorities if they have positive bloodbome pathogens test results.
- Regular classroom attendance by bloodbome pathogens infected student/faculty in an unrestricted manner shall be allowed, as long as the bloodbome pathogens positive individual is able to attend classes.
- Bloodbome pathogens infected students and faculty engaged in clinical experiences, should participate in special educational instruction and use guidelines prepared by the Center for Disease Control.
- In some instances, the college may need to make a decision concerning the health of the student/faculty and the advisability of the individual to remain working in a clinical situation. This will be done on a case-by-case basis. It may be necessary to modify educational methods, employment responsibilities and/or treatment protocols once an assessment of specific risks, confidentiality issues and available resources is made.
- Students with bloodbome pathogens will have access to student unions, cafeterias, recreational facilities and other common areas.
- The college will make decisions about residential housing of bloodbome pathogensinfected students on a case-by-case basis, keeping in mind that the risk of the bloodbome pathogens infected students exposed to contagious diseases may, in fact, be greater than the perceived risk of the student sharing a room with a bloodbome pathogens infected person.
- Without written consent from the bloodbome pathogens infected individual, no medical information can be released to faculty, administrators or parents. No information can be provided to groups, insurers of employers. College health officials should know that all confidential medical information is protected by statutes and that any unauthorized disclosure may create legal liability.
- Disclosing an infected student or employee's condition should always be premised on a need-to-know basis and a valid written authorization from the infected individual obtained before disclosure. Disciplinary action will be taken for breaches of procedure.
- All information is confidential and protected by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1994 and the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
- It is important to understand that a person infected with bloodbome pathogens requires only blood and body fluid precaution.
- In a clinical situation, the OSHA universal precautions for bloodbome pathogens will be followed. All patients will be treated the same.
- Special precautions to protect the health ofbloodbome pathogens-infected persons shall be considered during periods of prevalence of such contagious diseases as measles and chicken pox.
- Bloodbome pathogens-infected persons shall be excused from institutional requirements for certain vaccinations, notable measles and rubella vaccines.
- Personnel shall not be excused on their own request from providing services to students and/or staff with bloodbome pathogens. There is no scientific or ethical reason to do so. If an employee refuses to perform his/her duties in this instance, the issue becomes a legal and administrative problem to be resolved on an individual basis. (The college may seek legal counsel in such situations).
- The interview process shall be routine for both the college admissions process and prospective employees. The college should adhere to Federal and State laws as well as College Equal Employment and Affirmative Action Policies.
- Pre-admission employment physical examination shall be required only if the requirement is routine for all admission/employment. The decision whether bloodbome pathogens infected students or employees should be approved for admission/employment should always be made by a physician. Written medical examination records of bloodbome pathogens infected persons shall be maintained separate from student/personnel records and treated as confidential medical information.
- Routine serological testing may be made available to students/personnel who wish to know their bloodbome pathogens infection status. If medical personnel advise that testing is necessary, a signed release should be obtained.
- There is no increased risk to pregnant personnel from normal contact with bloodbome pathogens infected persons. Follow CDC Guidelines for Infection Control.
POLICY FOR DENTAL ASSISTING STUDENTS REGARDING BLOODBORNE PATHOGENS AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES
NHTI Dental Assisting Program is committed to addressing issues related to bloodbome pathogens, such as Hepatitis B (HBV), Hepatitis C (HCV), Tuberculosis (TB), and Human Immunodeficiency (HIV) in order to protect patients, students, faculty and staff. This also includes protecting the rights of individuals who may have a bloodbome infectious disease.
Students are required to treat all patients assigned and as a result may be exposed to bloodbome pathogens and infectious diseases while providing clinical services. Students are provided with instruction on infectious diseases, mechanisms of disease transmission, and infection control procedures to reduce the risk of disease transmission from patient to patient, patient to operator and operator to patient. Students shall adhere to universal precautions and follow accepted OSHA and CDC guidelines while performing all clinical procedures both on campus and at outside clinic affiliations.
Having provided students with this information to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and to protect themselves from contracting these diseases, the faculty and outside clinical supervisors will assume no responsibility for the personal health of students. The ultimate responsibility for the prevention of self contamination from infectious diseases rests solely with the individual students.
NHTI Dental Assisting Clinic is a safe place to provide and receive dental care. There is no significant risk of contracting bloodbome disease through the provision of dental treatment when appropriate infection control procedures are followed. Therefore the purpose of this policy is to minimize the risk of transmission of bloodbome pathogens and other environmental hazards in the NHTI Dental Assisting Clinic.
Before working in clinic, students are advised to be vaccinated for the Hepatitis B virus. If a student declines receiving the Hepatitis B vaccine, the student must sign a waiver, the "Vaccination Declination Form", which states that the student takes responsibility for their own personal health. This form will be kept for any student declining the vaccination.
Standard precautions is an approach to infection control by routine and consistent use of appropriate barrier protection such as gloves, lab coats, mask and protective eyewear to prevent skin and mucous membrane transmission of microorganism resulting from contact with blood or body fluids. Standard precautions shall -be observed to prevent contact with potentially infectious materials. Under circumstances in which differentiation between body fluid types is difficulty or impossible, all body fluids shall be considered potentially infectious materials.
Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens
Students who are exposed to bloodborne pathogens in clinical courses or an outside rotation are expected to follow the procedures set forth in the NHTI Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure Control Plan located in the Dental Assisting Program Manual.
Communication of Hazardous Material
Labels and signs shall be affixed to containers or regulated waste containing blood or other potentially infectious material. Labels required shall be fluorescent orange or orange-red with lettering or symbols in a contrasting color. Red bags or containers may be substituted for labels. Labels shall have the standard BIOHAZARD sign.
Enforcement of Policy
Students who engage in unsafe and/or careless clinical practices, which create risk to the health of patients, students and staff, shall be subject to disciplinary action. This involves a faculty review of the student's action or behavior and the student may be suspended immediately from the program.