Bloodborne Pathogens: Safety & Standard Precautions

Instructor: Ian Lord

Ian is a real estate investor, MBA, former health professions educator, and Air Force veteran.

In a hospital setting, there is always a risk of healthcare workers becoming exposed to bloodborne pathogens from patient bodily fluids. Let's review some of the standard precautions used to increase safety in healthcare.

Bloodborne Pathogen Safety

As an emergency room nurse, Jane is constantly aware that her patients often have illnesses that could be passed on to herself or others. A trauma patient may have a bloodborne disease that isn't immediately obvious, for example. For this reason, healthcare practitioners use standard precautions to reinforce provider and patient safety. In this lesson, we will look at some of the measures Jane takes to protect herself, her colleagues, and her patients from bloodborne pathogens.

A bloodborne pathogen is a disease causing infection that remains for a long period of time in the bloodstream. Examples of bloodborne pathogens include hepatitis B and C and the AIDS causing virus HIV. These diseases can be passed onto another person if the infected person's blood, semen, vaginal fluid, or spinal fluid comes into contact with another person's bloodstream.

Jane has seen patients vomit and bleed onto healthcare workers. In other cases, healthcare workers have been accidentally cut or punctured with needles or scalpel blades that have come in contact with a patient's blood. Standard precautions offer safety guidance and resources to prevent the spread of infection.

Standard Precautions

The measures that Jane and other healthcare professionals use to avoid coming into contact with a patient's blood or other body fluids are known as standard precautions. Standard precautions against bloodborne pathogens include:

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create An Account
Support