Student Exposure to Blood/Body Fluids

Student Exposure to Potentially Infectious Agents and/or Hazardous Materials Policy and Procedures -"Needle Stick" policy

It is the policy of The University of Arizona Health Sciences (UAHS) that all students who are exposed (i.e. needle stick, inhalation, mucus membrane or skin exposure or percutaneously to infectious agents and/or hazardous materials including blood/body fluids) while engaged in a University-sponsored educational program seek and obtain prompt medical attention, including counseling, prophylactic drug treatment, baseline and follow up laboratory values, as necessary.

Students: University of Arizona students who are currently enrolled in one of the UAHS colleges or a visiting student on an approved UAHS college clinical rotation with exposure to potentially infectious agents and hazardous materials: an exposure by skin, eye, mucous membrane, or parenteral contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials that may result from the performance of duties or exposure by inhalation, skin, eye, or mucous membrane to substances defined as hazardous chemicals present in the training site.

Student Exposure Procedure Card (Card)

Student Occupational Exposure Procedure Cards (hereafter referred to as “Card”) are developed for and distributed to UAHS students by their respective college's Office of Student Affairs. Cards are also available at UAHS Student Affairs offices and posted online to all UAHS Student Affairs websites. Students must keep this Card readily available. Students must refer to and present the Card to the health care provider in the event of an exposure during training. UAHS periodically revises student occupational exposure policies and procedures and will distribute updated Cards as applicable. Because students utilize many facilities for their training, it is important to note the Cards are intended to be general instructions on how to proceed in the event of an exposure. The Cards DO NOT take the place of IMMEDIATE evaluation and treatment.

Prevention Education for Students

In addition to education built into each college's curriculum, students must complete required chemical safety and blood borne pathogens training as outlined by The Department of Risk Management Services (RMS). This training is required by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and includes information on hazard recognition, exposure prevention, and post-exposure procedures.

Financial Responsibility

After the student's insurance has paid the claim, the college will reimburse the student for the amount they paid for the initial assessment, prophylactic treatment, and necessary tests including labs related to the exposure. See Reimbursement Procedure below. Visiting students are not eligible for reimbursement. The student maintains financial responsibility for medical costs beyond the care outlined above. Students are not eligible for worker's compensation benefits.

Training Institutions and Site Affiliates

All contracts with training institutions and site affiliates will include a provision that requires the training institutions and site affiliates to provide or make available assessment of an exposure to determine exposure significance and the necessity for treatment, if applicable. Provision will also require the training institution and site affiliate to ensure any required assessment and treatment will be within the time limits articulated, as set forth in the most recent protocols of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and consistent with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Standards. Post-exposure testing and further prophylactic drug treatment, and care of Arizona Health Sciences Center Students will be performed in Tucson, Phoenix, Gilbert, or local Affiliate. 

Student Exposure To Blood/Body Fluids Procedure (Card)

In the event of an exposure, students must follow the following procedure:

  1. Remove soiled clothing and wash the exposed area with soap and water, if appropriate. Administer first aid as appropriate to the exposure.
  2. Immediately notify the attending physician/supervisor/site coordinator of exposure. If applicable, notify preceptor or clinical faculty/instructor. 
  3. Students shall present at Affiliate's Employee Health, ER, or Urgent Care (per affiliates policy) for assessment and initial prophylactic treatment if applicable. If facility is unable to do initial evaluation and obtain necessary bloodwork, patient may come to UA Campus Health (520-621-9202) or ASU Health Service (480-965-3349).
  4. Following the incident, the affiliate facility at which exposure occurred shall immediately make available to the affected student a copy of all the student's records relating to the treatment and follow up, and if and when available, results regarding the HIV, HBV, and HCV status of the source, to the extent permitted by law.
  5. Within 5 days of the exposure, the student must follow up with Campus Health in Tucson or ASU Health Service in Tempe. Students located outside these areas must follow up with their Affiliate's Employee Health, ER, or Urgent Care (per affiliates policy). 
    Students in Tucson: UA Campus Health 520-621-9202, and make an appointment with Dr. Kathy Wilson. 
    Students in Phoenix/surrounding areas: ASU Tempe Campus Health 480-965-3349, and make an appointment with any available provider. 
    Students at other Arizona campuses: are eligible to use UA and ASU Campus Health services if the Health and Recreation Fee for the current semester has been paid. Charges and fees are visible in the Bursar Account of each student’s UAccess Student Center. If eligible for UA/ASU Campus Health services, please follow the directions listed above to contact the facilities.
             • ​​​​Online, Southern AZ, and Distance (including Gilbert campus) students are eligible to request the health fee, if they wish to use these services.

Reimbursement Procedure

For UA UAHS Students Only
Colleges cannot process a payment to a health care facility on a student's behalf. Therefore, all claims will be processed as reimbursements.

In order to receive reimbursement, the student must first bill their health insurance. Then, the student must pay the remaining balance and submit the following documents to the student's respective college's Office of Student Affairs in order to have the claim reimbursed. In order to have the claim reimbursed, the student must submit:

  1. An itemized bill
  2. Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from insurance company
  3. Paid receipt

Resources and References