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Universal Precautions for Bloodborne Pathogens

Instructor: Kristin Lundsten

Kristin has taught pediatric and psychiatric nursing and has a master's degree in nuring education

This lesson will define two important concepts in healthcare; universal precautions and blood-borne-pathogens. An explanation on the use of universal precautions will be provided as well as how to apply them.

A Common Precaution

Have you ever been in a hospital or other medical setting? Did you ever wonder why the medical professionals wear gloves when performing a medical procedure or exam? Or maybe it's so commonplace to see healthcare professionals wearing gloves, you'd only notice if they weren't wearing them? If you answered 'Yes' to any of the above questions, you are already on your way to understanding the concept of universal precautions.

Gloves are a common precaution in healthcare
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What Is a Universal Precaution?

In this context, 'universal' means EVERYONE (yes, you too). Precautions are measures taken in advance to prevent something dangerous or unpleasant. When used together, the phrase universal precaution is the practice of protecting yourself from accidental transmission or exposure of blood-borne pathogens by viewing every person as if they were already infected. In other words, preventative actions taken by everyone to prevent something dangerous.

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