Needlestick Policy

Policy on Exposure to Infectious Environmental Hazards (Needlestick Policy)

The student will notify the supervising faculty member if an exposure to an infectious environmental hazard occurs. If the exposure occurs on a clinical campus, the employee health office (or emergency room during off hours) will be notified. Additionally, students must notify Student Health @ 570-955-1474 so they can assist in assuring the appropriate care is provided. For injuries occurring in ambulatory sites students will go to the nearest emergency room or to the Geisinger Commonwealth Student Health Service in each Region.

The source patient’s blood will be tested for HIV and hepatitis B and C. The student will have the appropriate tests obtained and prophylactic treatment provided at the above locations. These costs will be absorbed by Geisinger Commonwealth.

All students who have been evaluated or treated for exposure will be followed in the employee health service of the hospital (for inpatient exposures) or Student Health Service. Regardless of the site for evaluation and care, all paperwork and laboratory reports will be faxed to the Student Health Service. The Student Health Service physician will review this information and communicate with the exposed student and clinical site as applicable to ensure that appropriate follow up is received.  Student Health must clear all students prior to returning to their coursework or clinical curriculum.

An appointment schedule will be developed for subsequent follow up. Six week, three month and twelve month visits will be scheduled for the students at the Student Health Service. The student will be asked to sign the “Agreement for Follow Up for Needlestick/Body Fluid Exposure” form indicating their understanding of the recommendation to comply with the schedule, especially if graduation or departure from Geisinger Commonwealth occurs before the final twelve month assessment.

All costs for testing, immunization, prophylactic medications and follow up care as a result of exposure will be covered by Geisinger Commonwealth for the first month. Insurance will be billed thereafter.

Click here to download the Agreement for Follow Up for Needlestick/Body Fluid Exposure form.