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.
After the student's insurance has paid the claim, the college will reimburse the student for the amount he/she paid for the initial assessment, prophylactic treatment, and necessary tests including labs related to the exposure. See Reimbursement Procedure. 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 (CDC) and consistent with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Standards.
Student Exposure Procedure (Card)
In the event of an exposure, students must follow the following procedure:
- Remove soiled clothing and wash the exposed area with soap and water, if appropriate. Administer first aid as appropriate to the exposure*
- Immediately notify attending physician/supervisor of exposure
- Students shall present to facility at which exposure occurred for assessment (includes testing of source patient) 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 Service or ASU Health Service
- Students should present the Card to treating health care provider
- For Blood/Body Fluid Exposures: Following the incident, the 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.
- Following the incident, the student must work with their supervisor/department liaison to complete the online Non-Employee Incident Report Form, located on the UArizona Risk Management Website
- Within 5 days of the exposure, the student must follow up with:
TUCSON: University of Arizona Campus Health 520-621- 6493
PHOENIX: ASU Downtown Campus Health 602-496-0721
For Treating Physician
If consultation is needed, treating physician may contact the on-call infectious disease physicians at UA via the Physician's Resource Line at 520-694-5868 or 800-777-7552 to discuss recommendations for tests and/or medications related to the student's exposure.
Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center (24/7): 1-800-222-1222
Post-exposure testing and further prophylactic drug treatment of UAHS students will be performed in Tucson or Phoenix.
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 his/her 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:
- An itemized bill
- Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from insurance company
- Paid receipt
Resources and References
UA Blood borne Pathogens
UA Laboratory Chemical
OSHA Blood borne Pathogens Standard
OSHA Laboratory Standard
CDC Biosafety Standards
UA Non-Employee Incident Report Form
UA Risk Management Services
University of Arizona Campus Health