Nurses working with hep c-Hepatitis C in the Workplace: Should Health Care Professionals Disclose? | Lucinda Porter, RN

Nurses should include patient education in their responsibilities to patients with hepatitis C. With 3. Nursing responsibilities when caring for hepatitis C patients include educating patients and families about the disease and preventing transmission of the infection to themselves or other patients. A nurse can't catch hepatitis C or transmit it to other patients as easily as she can pick up or transmit viruses spread via the respiratory tract. Hepatitis C is transmitted only via blood and bodily fluids such as saliva and semen.

Nurses working with hep c

Nurses working with hep c

The nurse in this case may have also used part of the dose, and given the rest to the patient, using the same syringe. Occupational health and safety and Infection control standard precautions form a good practice guide to prevent transmission of such hazards in primary and secondary care settings, and the Advisory Committee Nurses working with hep c Dangerous Pathogens identified that infection control departments have a major role to play in communicating such hazards and precautions to employees. Weberg admitted to investigators she "diverted injectable fentanyl and hydromorphone from the hospital for her personal use," and failed to Bare root rose sale the associated waste material. Supposedly its not so much the physical side effects but the emotional and mental. The Department of Health b provided guidance on protecting healthcare workers against occupational exposure to blood-borne viruses and this guidance recommended that employers draw up their own local policies on the management of blood exposure incidents for both staff and patients. McCreaddie, M. London: HSE.

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Am J Manag Care, 17 Suppl. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol, 13 4 I have woring shared this with 2 good friends and of course my boyfriend. The course of therapy has been reduced from 44 weeks to woth weeks, the risk of serious drug-induced complications has been dramatically reduced, and unlike interferon-based regimens the side effects of these drugs are mild and well tolerated. Contrib Nephrol, Assessment of liver damage and fibrosis Nusres guide treatment decisions and establish the level of risk for certain complications; it is done invasively by a liver biopsy or non-invasively by using the patient history and physical examination, by serologic, or by ultrasound-based transient Nurses working with hep c. I have not undergone treatment yet and if I Nurses working with hep c honest the whole thing scares me to death. Sign up here. I have workinf travel nursing Horese hung and off since Thanks for your comments! From the perspective of a healthcare worker, this would include body substances with the associated risks of exposure to blood-borne viruses. Open Forum Infect Dis, Feb 23;2 1 :ofv Pang, J. Pratt, R.

Weberg admitted to investigators she "diverted injectable fentanyl and hydromorphone from the hospital for her personal use," and failed to document the associated waste material.

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Abstract Pritchard, D. This article analyses hepatitis C from the perspective of occupational exposure and examines health and safety regulations. This may not always be the case, especially for healthcare workers who are often exposed to hazards that have the potential to affect their health. Blood-borne viruses, which include hepatitis C, are one such hazard Watterson, Occupational health and safety and Infection control standard precautions form a good practice guide to prevent transmission of such hazards in primary and secondary care settings, and the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens identified that infection control departments have a major role to play in communicating such hazards and precautions to employees.

Standard infection control precautions formerly known as universal precautions can protect both staff and patients if applied at all times without discrimination. They include: hand hygiene; use of personal protective equipment; management of sharps, clinical waste and linen; and care of the environment RCN, The hepatitis C virus was first identified in Department of Health, b. Prior to this it was classed as, and accounted for, most cases of non-A and non-B hepatitis Rogers and Campbell, The virus itself is a blood-borne single stranded RNA virus with a lipid envelope, from the flaviviridae family McCreaddie and Neilson, There are six major genotypes or groups of the hepatitis C virus and within each genotype there are subtypes Shiffman, Patients are most commonly infected with only one genotype Rogers and Campbell, Type one variants are more likely to be associated with hepatocellular carcinoma, while types one and four respond less well than types two or three to treatment with interferon Bagg, The hepatitis C virus appears to evade the immune system much more easily than its counterpart, hepatitis B, because it mutates more rapidly.

This has made vaccine development very difficult and it is still unavailable Berger, Acute symptomatic hepatitis C virus infection is rare and symptoms will include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, jaundice and anorexia. Most patients who acquire the virus are asymptomatic until chronic infection occurs Davis, The virus rarely causes symptoms on either initial exposure or during the disease progression and it can take between 10 and 30 years before clinical symptoms become apparent Nadel, This can mean that many people will not be aware that they have the hepatitis C virus, or know how or when they were infected Gungabissoon, This can cause great problems in that, by the time symptoms manifest, the liver damage will be irreparable Nadel, Liver cirrhosis caused by the hepatitis C virus is the leading reason for liver transplantation in the UK and the US Poynard, Hepatitis C virus infection does not have a great impact on mortality in the first decade of infection Copley, ; Harris et al, Over the next years, chronic hepatitis C virus infection is predicted to become a burden on the healthcare system as patients who are now asymptomatic with mild disease progress to end-stage liver disease and develop hepatocellular carcinoma Nadel, This means that hepatitis C infections acquired in the s and s will start becoming chronic conditions in this decade.

Therefore early treatment and eradication of the hepatitis C virus infection is desirable in order to prevent the spread and to reduce the risk of progression of the disease Davis, Since hepatitis C was first classified in , it has emerged as a significant public health problem DH, b. An estimated , people in the UK are infected with the virus DH, b and it is a major cause of liver disease Copley, Most information about the clinical course of hepatitis C virus has come largely from retrospective studies of patients with established liver disease Tong et al, Hepatitis C virus is found in most body fluids but sufficient quantities to cause infection are found only in blood, vaginal secretions and semen McCreaddie, b.

It has been reported that an infected mother could potentially pass on the infection via the placental barrier in the womb Nadel, In the Health and Safety Executive published a booklet that gave practical guidance including statutory requirements for health surveillance to all employers with established occupational health facilities Kloss, At this time, many employers had not established departments for occupational health so the infrastructure was inadequate to carry out any health surveillance.

Since , there have been two major developments which have led to a strengthened occupational health service. It emphasised the importance of a healthy workplace Kloss, As a consequence the Occupational Health Strategy Unit, which was formed in , was charged with developing a national vision for occupational health, which was to include issues such as the availability of a service.

At the same time, there were a number of changes occurring around the regulations governing health and safety at work. Changes in Europe gave considerable impetus to health and safety law Kloss, A framework of five directives was agreed in and The framework included:. This essentially obliged all employers, with very few exceptions, to make an assessment of the risks to the health and safety of their employees.

Employers were also to ensure that their employees were provided with such health surveillance as appropriate to the job. The introduction of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations updated in and also obliged employers to assess the hazards of all substances with which their employees have contact at work. This entailed the introduction of health surveillance if there was a reasonable likelihood that an identifiable disease or adverse health effect could occur from the exposure Kloss, From the perspective of a healthcare worker, this would include body substances with the associated risks of exposure to blood-borne viruses.

The Public Health Control of Disease Act involved the reporting of notifiable infectious diseases which include viral hepatitis , to the consultant in communicable disease control at the local health authority now superceded by the notifications officer at the area Health Protection Agency. They recommended methods of infection control and, in conjunction with NICE, recommended a consistent approach to the management and treatment of infected individuals.

Getting Ahead of the Curve set out 12 proposals for improvements to existing systems, the first of which was the creation of the Health Protection Agency. This was established on 1 April Concerning infectious diseases, it brought together the main functions of the Public Health Laboratory Service, consultants in communicable disease control and regional epidemiologists, while also incorporating chemical and radiological risks.

In relation to hepatitis C, their remit was to link in on the public health protection side. While the costs of not treating during the acute phase of the illness are low, as the disease progresses, many people develop decompensated cirrhosis, where the treatment costs which may include liver transplantation increase enormously DH, a.

The DH a made an assessment that healthcare workers may be at risk of acquiring hepatitis C virus infection from occupational injuries. Gungabissoon reported that healthcare workers are at greater risk of exposure to the hepatitis C virus than the rest of the general population.

Further studies have shown that the overall prevalence of hepatitis C among healthcare workers had been estimated to be 0. Thorburn undertook anonymous testing of healthcare workers in Glasgow between and Of the 10, healthcare workers who gave blood at their occupational health departments during that period, 30 tested positive. This equates to 0. It should be noted however that Sulkowski et al tested patients with known infection rather than the general patient population and therefore it must be concluded that these figures would be higher.

The accepted average of the risk of transmission from a hepatitis C antibody positive source to a healthcare worker is probably between 1. There have not been any reported cases of transmission via intact skin Sulkowski et al, - transmission is more likely to occur following exposure to blood via hollow-bore instruments Bagg, Standard infection control precautions will minimise the risk of transmission of all blood-borne viruses including hepatitis C Gungabissoon, The Department of Health b provided guidance on protecting healthcare workers against occupational exposure to blood-borne viruses and this guidance recommended that employers draw up their own local policies on the management of blood exposure incidents for both staff and patients.

Exposure to blood and body fluids remains an important concern for healthcare workers, especially those who sustain a percutaneous injury. It is therefore extremely important that the local reporting mechanisms and follow-up protocols are adhered to McCreaddie, a. The increasing availability of safety devices and compliance with standard precautions can also help to reduce the risks Bagg, Standard infection control measures should apply to all situations, with all body substances treated as potentially infectious.

This means that healthcare workers must consistently adhere to current evidence-based guidelines in order to prevent healthcare-associated infections and transmission from patient to patient and patient to staff Gungabissoon, ; Pratt, London: HMSO.

Bagg, J. Infection Control in Focus; 4, Berger, A. British Medical Journal; Copley, L. Professional Nurse; 3, Davis, G. London: DH. Gungabissoon, U. Nursing Times; 31, Harris, H. British Medical Journal; , London: HSE. Approved Code of Practice and Guidance. Lawrence, S. Advances in Internal Medicine; Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations.

McCreaddie, M. Nursing Times; 49, Nursing Times; 47, Why all the fuss? Nursing Times; 11, Nadel, A. Nursing Times; 14, London: NICE. Poynard, T. London: Martin Dunitz. Pratt, R. Nursing Standard; 33, Ramsay, M. Communicable Disease and Public Health; 2: 4,

Refbacks are Off. Thankyou Irennie Forgot your password? March 1, Why don't you look it up its called compassion.

Nurses working with hep c

Nurses working with hep c

Nurses working with hep c

Nurses working with hep c. Latest jobs

I am a medical assistant and now in school for my LPN. I love what I do and I use all necessary precautions. I know how this disease is transmitted so I work with care.

I love giving patient care and I will continue, knowing that I can help change the care a patient gets while on my shift. I understand what you mean about feeling like you have the plague. You know that even though we are professionals we are also human beings and are not above having some unwarranted fears.

I always wore 2 pair of gloves when caring for these patients. I know that it was probably overkill but I felt like I was being extra careful. I believe that I contracted this about16 yrs ago when I was flushing a surgical abdominal drain that splashed into my eyes. I was told when I tried to donate blood about 2 yrs after the incident that I may have non A non B hepatitis. Told to just watch for flu sx for next few weeks.

Of course I figured it was a false positive and went on with my life, until last Oct. It makes me let's just say a little more careful.

Sometimes I get angry but what can you do. Anyway this turned out to be longer than I intended. Nice to talk to a peer. Good Luck with your tx and hope to hear back. It's a shame that even among us health care professionals there is this stigma.

I have only shared this with 2 good friends and of course my boyfriend. You even hear nurses whisper to each other "You know that patient has Hep C", like it is the plague. I just want to set them straight but of course keep my mouth shut. I have tried to circumvent the whispering by medical staff and I tell them up front in a very matter of fact way that I have Hep C.

That way I take away their need to whisper, if they are so inclined to do so. Next Page. Notify me of new activity on this question.

Join this community. Ask a Question. Top Hepatitis Answerers. Expert Activity. Didn't find the answer you were looking for? Answer a few simple questions about your Hep C treatment journey. I'm Interested! What Is Hepatitis C? Diagnosing Hepatitis C. Just Diagnosed? Understanding Hepatitis C Treatment. Your Guide to Hep C Treatments. Managing Side Effects of Treatment. I am paranoid that if I have it, I can be prevented from doing nurisng, either studing nursing for 3years and then from beginning my career?

I know you have to do a medical to begin nursing, do they test for Hep c, and if so and if positive can you be suspended as you may pose a risk? Dont worry about the treatment, it can be hardgoing but as long as you have support. My partner was alwasy a happy person but is now on 2 kinds of anti-depressants, but this is solely due to the treatment physically causing a chemical imbalance in the brain, which is rectified and balanced again when treatment is finished.

Really, Im relived? Is that both sides of the Atlantic? Im not sure where people on this forum are based, Im Scotland UK. Can't remember being tested for anything when I was a student except TB but was a long time ago.

May want to ask this question in the UK forum under the International section region tab above as we have a few students that post. I don't know how it is anywhere else. In Oz there is no testing but all health professionals with a blood born virus must be aware of there infectious status and may not perform exposure prone proceedure EPP's.

This is more in place for dentists and surgeons so don't worry, you are not putting your patients in danger by nursing them. That is even if you have contracted hep c, which is highly unlikely to occur in a long term monogamous relationship. It is ignorant and predjudiced to state that it is unlikely that you will contract hepatitis c if you are in a long term monogamous relationship. Wynona Judd's mother was a nurse and she contracted it from a dirty needle stick.

I contracted hep c from a dirty needle stick in I was pregnant at the time and I thank GOD that my child has always tested negative. I'm thankful that advances in safety procedures since then have dramatically decreased the chances of nurses being exposed due to dity needle sticks. It is this type of predjudice that interferes with really educating people in the importance of being tested and receiving proper treatment post exposure let alone admitting to testing positive.

Please properly educate yourself about the many ways of being exposed to and contracting infectious diseases before making ignorant, predjudiced statements. No one needs their misery added to by the ignorance of others. Nobody is being ignorant and far less being prejudiced. You have misunderstood what we were discussing. Official health professionals and my doctor included, have said it is less likely to contract hep c through sex when in a long montaneous relationship - and this is said, because this is based on it being more likely to contract hep c through sex if you are likely to sleep around using no protection because in this instance one would be more prone to STIs.

If these are STIs where raw sores are present, then there can be open wounds and more likely to contract hep c. Because it is believed that this is the main reason hep c can be contracted thru sex, this is all one means in stating it is LESS likely to contract hep c when in a monotonous relationship.

Anyway all of this I'm sure you're aware of. And yes you're right, nobody should insinuate that you can ONLY contract it through risky sex. But I wasnt aware anyone was insinuating this anyway.

Originally I was only asking because I couldnt get my head around why any sources I ever find state it is rare to contract hep c thru sex - what I didnt understand was is it rare because it's rare for 2 partners to bleed in the first place Or is it rare because if both partners did bleed, it is still rare to contract because there would need to be suction into a wound but when bleeding there is pressure pumping the blood out.

And I was tested 2weeks ago, I'm clear and also heard back from uni, I got in so start in Sept, cant wait My partner's treatment coming to an end soon and he's negative now so it's a relief, I was originally worried at the beginning that if in case I had it, I wouldnt be able to study nursing, but that too isnt a worry now either as the uni have explained you do not get tested anyway.

Edited May 1, by lrennie Crikket88 that would have to be the first time that I have ever been called ignorant, prejudiced and uneducated. I think I have been very misunderstood.

I am more than aware of the various ways a person can contract the hepatitis c virus and I know that it is not ONLY contracted through risky sexual activity. Everybody knows that! But thankyou for the insult. You sound very angry and I really hope you learn to let go of that.

I would never encourage someone to not be tested if they were concerned that they had contracted hepatitis! I was only trying to comfort someone through a very frightening stage in their life. You should try it sometime. Why don't you look it up its called compassion. And maybe thoroughly read something before you attack someones intelligence. Thankyou Irennie You sound like a very intelligent and lovely person. So happy to hear you and your partner are doing well. We need more nurses like yourself.

Edited Jun 14, by Silverdragon Please do not post email addresses as per terms of service. Nurse Disabilities.

Living with Hepatitis C: 15 Tips from a Nurse Who Had It | Lucinda Porter, RN

Nurses should include patient education in their responsibilities to patients with hepatitis C. With 3. Nursing responsibilities when caring for hepatitis C patients include educating patients and families about the disease and preventing transmission of the infection to themselves or other patients. A nurse can't catch hepatitis C or transmit it to other patients as easily as she can pick up or transmit viruses spread via the respiratory tract.

Hepatitis C is transmitted only via blood and bodily fluids such as saliva and semen. It isn't spread by sharing eating utensils, drinking from the same glass or kissing. The virus can survive in dried blood for between 16 hours and four days on surfaces such as tables or floors, the CDC reports. A nurse who has contact with a hepatitis C patient needs only to maintain standard infection control precautions required for contact with any patient. Gowns and masks are generally not required; gloves are required when drawing blood, starting IVs or handling any bodily fluids.

Needles and other contaminated objects must be properly contained or disposed of. Nurses should wash their hands between patients, even if they wear gloves, and use a new pair of gloves for each patient. Blood spills should be cleaned with solutions of one part bleach to 10 parts water. When dealing with patients with hepatitis C in the hospital, needle sticks while drawing blood or starting intravenous infusions or leaving needles where other staff or visitors could get stuck presents present a risk of transmission of the virus.

Around , to , needle sticks occur each year; around half are never reported, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reports. Nurses must use the safety features on IV catheters and blood drawing sets, which cover the needle after use.

Needles must be disposed of in sharps containers that keep used needles away from visitors or other nurses. Any nurse who does receive a puncture with an infected needle must report the stick to occupational health and follow hospital procedures for testing.

Patients with hepatitis C often need education about their disease and the potential complications it can cause, such as liver failure and the need for liver transplantation. The nurse should inform the patient of steps he can take to prevent making the disease worse. These include testing to determine the genotype of the disease, which affects the success of anti-viral therapy treatments, avoiding alcohol, talking to their doctor about over-the-counter medications that could worsen liver damage, such as acetaminophen, and taking steps to prevent transmission to family members.

Women with hepatitis C should receive counseling on the risks of transmitting the virus to a fetus during pregnancy.

Perkins also has extensive experience working in home health with medically fragile pediatric patients. Skip to main content. Transmission A nurse can't catch hepatitis C or transmit it to other patients as easily as she can pick up or transmit viruses spread via the respiratory tract.

Standard Infection Control Precautions A nurse who has contact with a hepatitis C patient needs only to maintain standard infection control precautions required for contact with any patient. Preventing Needle Sticks When dealing with patients with hepatitis C in the hospital, needle sticks while drawing blood or starting intravenous infusions or leaving needles where other staff or visitors could get stuck presents present a risk of transmission of the virus.

Education Patients with hepatitis C often need education about their disease and the potential complications it can cause, such as liver failure and the need for liver transplantation. Accessed 27 October Perkins, Sharon. Work - Chron. Note: Depending on which text editor you're pasting into, you might have to add the italics to the site name.

Nurses working with hep c

Nurses working with hep c

Nurses working with hep c