Avoiding Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens in School Settings

Instructor: Justine Fritzel

Justine has been a Registered Nurse for 10 years and has a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing degree.

In this lesson, we will explore situations that put people at risk for exposure to bloodborne pathogens in the school setting and what to do in those situations to decrease the risk.

Bloodborne Pathogens

Bloodborne pathogens are tiny organisms in human blood that can cause disease. Examples of diseases caused by bloodborne pathogens include hepatitis B and HIV. These diseases can be passed from one person to another if there is exposure to the infected blood of a person. Therefore, there are many guidelines on how to avoid or decrease the risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens.

Blood Cell
blood

Most people are used to seeing nurses and doctors wearing gloves, masks, and gowns in the hospital and probably realize that they are trying to protect themselves from infectious agents such as bloodborne pathogens. However, have you thought about the same risks being present at schools? Let's take a look at a couple scenarios that could easily take place in a school setting.

Blood in Schools

Josh and John are both 16 years old and attend the same high school. They have had confrontations before, and it is not uncommon for them to spend time in the principal's office, detention, or even being suspended. Today after the bell rings, the teachers notice a large group of students gathering and hear yelling. The teachers go over to the crowd and find the two in a fight; punches are being thrown, and blood is flowing. What precautions do the teachers need to be mindful of?

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