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Informing Certified Nurse Aides of Communicable Disease
Jan 26, 2012

Several of us were dismayed tonight to be informed that we had been caring for two residents with communicable diseases without our knowledge. Looking back over the past several months I wonder if I should be tested for Hiv and Hepatitis due to contact with feces and urine. The thought also crossed my mind that their roomates could possibly be at risk for exposure, since they use the same commode, and to laundry attendants, since their dirty briefs were not disposed of in red bags. I am planning to see my Occupational Medicine Nurse tomorrow, but would appreciate your opinion on these three issues. I feel for my younger co-workers who are fearful that they through ignorance could have contracted one of these diseases, affecting future ability to have children, becoming a risk to spouse or children. (Some of these girls are pregnant.) Basically, Lynn, we are told that if we suspect we have been exposed to a blood bourne pathogen we should then be tested and go through the protocol. Unfortunatly, we had no idea that we could possibly be at risk until someone let it slip that this was the case. Shouldn't we know so we can be extra careful around these cases, just as we would if a resident were to have an air bourne path or a contact pathogen. How do we know which precautions to take if we are left in the dark? Please know that whatever the case, I still maintain a professional demenor with everyone, no matter what their medical conditions are.

Response from Mr. Chambers

I'm not a doctor, however, it is my understanding that all medical personnel should be practicing standard or universal precautions where all patients are treated so as to avoid any possible transmission. Please do consult with your supervisor.

It sounds like you may think HIV is more contagious than it really is and, if so, you and your co-workers may want to get some training on the issue.

Jacques



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