If your work could mean you come in contact with bloodborne pathogens, you know how important good training is. OSHA requires everyone working in these fields to have training each year. This is to keep everyone safe from harm.
Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be able to go about your duties and stay safe. How can you get the best out of the training? Is there anything you can do beforehand to prepare?
Let’s dive into the answers to those questions as we examine how to prepare for bloodborne pathogens training.
Preparing In the Workplace
In some work settings, the risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens is quite obvious. This would include hospital workers, lab workers, and those working in clinics and doctors’ offices.
However, there are some professions where the risk is not as obvious. This includes courier services and body art professionals. What obligations do employers have?
Exposure Control Plans
Every employer is required under OSHA standards to create an exposure control plan. This plan details how the company will protect employees from exposure to bloodborne pathogens.
It goes into detail on the work practice controls to prevent exposure. It will explain the personal protective clothing and equipment that employees must use. It will also outline the bloodborne pathogens training program for staff and how to maintain standards.
Some employers also provide vaccination for staff where appropriate—for example, a hepatitis B vaccination, which protects against that particular pathogen.
The exposure control plan will also explain engineering controls in place. This means adaptations made to reduce exposure to needles. This might include needleless devices or shielded needle devices.
Get to Know the Plan
Every workplace is different. The risks and systems in place to control the risk will be bespoke to your workplace. Before bloodborne pathogens training, it is a good idea to get to know the plan.
Why is that so beneficial? Because then when you attend the training, you can immediately understand the training in context. It will help you to start to make links between what you do every day and the training you are receiving.
It will also help you to keep safe until you complete the training. Even if you have worked in a medical setting before, it’s important to read the plan.
Plans must also be bespoke to each facility. If you work across more than one site, make sure that you read the plan in place at each site and understand any differences. It will also be updated yearly, so keep up to date with updated versions as they become available.
Talk with Colleagues and Management
To bring the plan to life and see how it works in daily practice, discuss the measures with your colleagues and management. They’ll be happy to discuss how to keep safe and how things are done practically. Especially if you are new to this area, it’s important to have a good overview of the context before beginning the training.
Currently, most providers offer bloodborne pathogens training as an online course. To prepare for the training effectively, you need to follow tips on getting the best out of online courses.
Treat it Like a Classroom Course
When we’re in the classroom, we’re very conscious of our behavior. We’re very attentive, and we make sure we’re not distracting ourselves or others. To get the best out of an online course, you need to treat it the same way.
The flexibility of online courses is great. You can do them any time. But that doesn’t mean that cramming it all in one marathon middle of the night session is the way to benefit from it the most.
Schedule time in your week for study and add it to your phone’s calendar. Treat it like a real class or a job. Put off other activities so that you can stick to your study time.
Get an Accountability Partner
You’ll likely have a deadline by which you need to complete the course. But deadlines are sometimes not the only motivation you need. Talk to a colleague and see if they will be your accountability partner.
This is someone who’s going to remind you. Bug you. Be on your case.
Sound annoying? You’ll thank them in the end. And if they also have to do the same course, you can do the same for them.
Give yourself a dedicated study space to complete the course. This can be at home or a local coffee shop or library; as long as it’s quiet and no one will distract you, you’re good to go.
Also, find a way to avoid being tempted by your cell phone. Can you turn it off, just for your study period? The lack of notifications will help you to focus and make the time go faster.
Take an Interest and Do Research
Ultimately, you’re going to learn about bloodborne pathogens to keep yourself and others safe. It’s serious because we’re talking about potentially fatal diseases. It’s mandatory, and with the wrong attitude, anything mandatory can seem boring and frustrating.
But actually, bloodborne pathogens are remarkable. Yes, they’re deadly, but understanding more about them gives you a better understanding of science and your own body. View it as an opportunity to better your level of education and expertise.
An in-depth understanding of the topic will also make you a more valuable asset to your employer. Companies always want to engage with motivated individuals who take a keen interest in their work.
Time Management for Online Study
Bloodborne pathogens training is usually a short course. There will be an exam to complete at the end. A score of 80% or higher is needed to pass.
Time management shouldn’t be too much of an issue with a short course. But to help, practice time-blocking. This way, you allocate a certain amount of time to each element of the course.
This includes note-taking and exam preparation. This is useful because if we don’t divide up our time, we tend to distribute it unevenly. For example, if you really enjoy the first unit, you’ll tend to spend more time on it.
Then it can be tempting to rush through other parts, especially those you find more difficult or less exciting. Time-blocking gives you a set amount of time, allowing you to get the best from each session.
What to Expect During the Training
Bloodborne pathogens training doesn’t just help you to understand how to avoid contact with contaminated bodily fluids. It also gives you an overview of the different types of bloodborne diseases.
It will discuss the following diseases:
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
It may also cover other diseases depending on the target audience. It will also discuss how bloodborne pathogens can be transmitted. This will help you to foresee dangers, such as handling and disposing of needle sticks.
An important part of the training is the OSHA standards. These standards protect employees across the board. It is the responsibility of both employers and employees to make sure that they are being closely followed.
Part of the OSHA requirements is the exposure control plan. This will be different for every company and every facility. The training will help you to understand the importance of the plan.
It will also train you in how to follow the plan. Of particular importance will be exposure control procedures.
Every employee needs to understand their role in reducing the risk of exposure. This includes how to dispose of contaminated waste. How to label containers correctly and how to use and dispose of personal protective equipment.
Putting It Into Practice
Completing the training will prepare you to safely handle several situations in the workplace.
This includes working as an EMT, and a patient reveals they have HIV. Working in a lab, handling specimens possibly containing Hepatitis C. Working on a ward with patients with an as yet unidentified disease.
In all of these scenarios, you will be better prepared by completing the bloodborne pathogens training. You will be even better prepared if you follow the steps below and prepare well. This will ensure your own safety, that of the patients you work with, and your colleagues.
Preparing for Successful Bloodborne Pathogens Training
Bloodborne pathogens training is a lifesaver. It’s well worth an investment of time and effort. With a little extra preparation, you can understand the topic more easily. And you’ll be better equipped to put it into practice.
At HIPAA exams, our Bloodborne Pathogens Training can help your employees meet CDC AND OSHA bloodborne pathogens standards for handling bloodborne pathogens.
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