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OSHA Update: Infection Control Practices for Clinicians and Outreach Educators

Broadcast Date: December 6, 2006
(2 hours)

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Handouts (12 pages)

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Program Overview

As a result of the HIV epidemic in the mid-1980s, the concept of Universal Precautions was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 1991, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published the Final Rule to improve working conditions and to promote safety for healthcare workers when caring for patients infected with bloodborne pathogens. The new law required compliance to the published federal guidelines by all healthcare facilities. This law is very important to the approach that healthcare workers take in caring for their patients.

A few years after the concept of Universal Precautions was introduced, the definition and recommendations of Universal Precautions was revised and given the new name of Standard Precautions. Today, Standard Precautions is the protocol to be used to reduce the transmission risk of pathogens. This includes transmission from moist body substances and applies to all patients regardless of their diagnosis or presumed infection status.

The requirements for Standard Precautions in everyday nursing practice includes thorough handwashing with soap and water, before and after contact with a patient, after any contact with any microorganism and immediately after removing gloves. It is recommended that non-antibacterial soap be used for general patient care. Other aspects of the requirements for Standard Precautions includes wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), education and knowledge of housekeeping standards, proper waste disposal and laundry procedures.

The focus of this program is to review the current guidelines for infection control practices; learn how to identify strategies for reducing antibiotic resistance within the population; and present current practices for controlling MRSA.


Patty Miller, BS, MT, ASCP, CIC
Baptist Medical Center South
Montgomery, Alabama

Sharon G. Thompson, BSN, RN
Director, Infection Control Branch
Alabama Department of Public Health

Target Audience

Nurses, social workers, counselors and educators who work in a clinic setting and/or provide outreach and education regarding infection control practices.

Contact Hours

None for this program

Contact for Technical Assistance

334-206-5618 or email ALPHTN

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