Policy on Exposure to Infectious and Environmental Hazards

1.     Blood – Body Fluid Exposure

All students shall successfully complete required online learning modules and classroom training on blood-borne pathogens, infection control and airborne pathogens prior to enrollment and prior to clerkships.

Procedure for immediate care and treatment due to blood – body fluid exposure:

For rotations within UVA Medical Center:

  1. The student immediately shall report the incident to the faculty supervising the clinical service.
  2. The student immediately shall page the Dean on Call (924-0000, pic 1416).
  3. The student immediately shall report all bloodborne pathogen exposures by paging (pic #1523) to initiate the triage process. The student will be instructed whether to report to Student Health or to the Emergency Department.
  4. If a medical student has been exposed to a patient’s blood or body fluids in a manner that may transmit HIV or Hepatitis B or C, the Dean on Call shall ensure that the Medical Center will test the source patient’s blood for HIV and Hepatitis B and C. The source patient’s treating physician or designee will order the source patient’s tests. Student Health will order the exposed student’s tests and provide all necessary prophylactic treatment except during off hours, in which case the Emergency Department will do the same.

For away rotations/away clinical courses:

  1. The student immediately shall report the incident to the faculty supervising the clinical service.
  2. The student immediately shall page the Dean on Call (924-0000, pic 1416).
  3. The student immediately shall follow the procedure for that facility/away site. (See below for URL links for clerkship sites at Bon Secours, Inova, and Salem VA ). The facility/away site will provide or arrange for any necessary emergency medical treatment for the student.
  4. If a medical student has been exposed to a patient’s blood or body fluids in a manner that may transmit HIV or Hepatitis B or C, the Dean on Call shall ensure that the facility will test the source patient’s blood for HIV and Hepatitis B and C. The Dean on Call will determine whether the student will seek care locally or immediately return to the University. Depending on the decision, the Dean on Call shall ensure that either the facility/away site or Student Health will order the exposed student’s tests and provide all necessary prophylactic treatment except during off hours, in which case the Emergency Department will do the same.

Procedures for clerkship sites:

Procedure for follow-up care and treatment due to blood – body fluid exposure:

A student who has been evaluated and/or treated for exposure to blood and body fluids, whether at UVA or at an away location, will be referred to the Student Health Center for follow-up. The student will be advised to call Student Health (434-982-3915) to be seen within 48 Hours after exposure. Prior to the student’s appointment, all paperwork and laboratory reports will be faxed to Student Health from Employee Health or the analogous office at an away location.

The Student Health triage physician will review the needle-stick and blood and body fluid report forms at the 48 hour follow-up visit after the exposure.  Post-test counseling will be provided at this time. An appointment schedule will be developed with the assistance of the triage nurse for 6 weeks, 3 month and 12 month visits. The “Agreement for follow-up of Needle-stick/Blood or Body Fluid Exposure” form will be completed by the triage nurse, and the student is asked to sign it. The student’s signature indicates understanding of the recommendation to comply with the schedule, including if graduation occurs before the final 12 month assessment.

Policies and procedures related to exposure to infectious agents are available through Student Health and are based on CDC and OSHA guidelines.

Billing

All costs for testing, immunization, diagnostics, and prophylactic medications as a result of occupational exposure will be billed to the student’s insurance. Costs incurred during the first 30 days of exposure which are not covered by the student’s insurance will be paid by the School of Medicine.

Management of infectious disease or disability on medical student learning activities:

The decision about the participation in learning activities of a medical student who has been infected by bloodborne pathogens initially is delegated to and  determined by the UVA Medical Center Director of Hospital Epidemiology and later as outlined in Medical Center Policy No. 0134, http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/docs/manuals/policies/mc/A70A3DE3-110A-2E68-1405BFE1796D258F/A70A3FB8-110A-2E68-14C856E2BFA6D762/transmissible-bloodborne-pathogens.

The School of Medicine shall provide reasonable accommodations to any student infected with a bloodborne pathogen in a manner consistent with Medical Center Policy. Reasonable accommodations will be determined on an individualized basis by an interactive process between the medical student, School, Medical Center and Student Disability Access Center (SDAC).

Students located at a clinical affiliate site requiring accommodation may be reassigned to the main campus, and may remain at the main campus for future rotations for as long as accommodations are needed.

 

2.     Environmental Hazards

All students shall complete required online learning modules and classroom training on personal safety and environmental exposures.  The following topics are included prior to matriculation and/or during orientation: personal safety; emergency preparedness and terrorism awareness; quality and safety.  Prior to starting anatomy, all students must successfully complete learning modules in formaldehyde exposure and attire and personal protective equipment.  Prior to starting clerkships, all students must successfully complete learning modules on emergency management and mask fitting.  Students must successfully complete a yearly module covering personal protection and safety.

Procedure for immediate care and treatment due to environmental hazard:

A student who is exposed to a hazardous chemical shall inform the faculty member supervising the clinical service and immediately report to either the Emergency Department or to Student Health.

Management of environmental disease or disability on medical student learning activities:

The School of Medicine shall provide reasonable accommodations to any student acquiring an environmental disease or disability in a manner consistent with Medical Center Policy. Reasonable accommodations will be determined on an individualized basis by an interactive process between the medical student, School, Medical Center and Student Disability Access Center (SDAC).

Students located at a clinical affiliate site requiring accommodation may be reassigned to the main campus, and may remain at the main campus for future rotations for as long as accommodations are needed.

Revised and reaffirmed June 2020 by UME Management Team.