The Covid-19 crisis has necessitated the need for people to continuously learn and develop ways to curb the pandemic and its harmful effects. Therefore, significant efforts have been invested in educating the masses on the most effective preventive measures against the virus from infectious materials. It has become essential to educate frontline workers who are at high risk of occupational exposure to the virus on the best way they can protect themselves. This is where the bloodborne pathogens or BBP training comes in.
Bloodborne Pathogens are infectious microorganisms that are found in human blood. These pathogens have a huge potential to cause disease in humans. They include hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV), syphilis, malaria, brucellosis, and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). People working in certain professions are at a high risk of getting exposed to bloodborne pathogens.
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What Professions Are at High Risk of Bloodborne Pathogen?
- Housekeeping personnel
- Emergency responders such as paramedics, first responders, and police departments
- Tattoo and permanent makeup artists
- Laboratory workers
- Daycare and school staff
- Other healthcare workers
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Generally, the list extends to everyone working in bloodborne pathogens sources. Employee exposure to bloodborne can lead to injury like needles are at high risk. Thus, having an exposure control plan and getting BBP training certification will help you prevent contact with blood and any exposure incidents. Employers must also conduct a risk assessment of the worksite hazards, identify potential exposure, assign PPE accordingly, and have a medical evaluation.
What is Bloodborne Pathogens Training?
Bloodborne pathogens (BPP) training is a course aimed at educating participants on how to recognize the hazards associated with occupational exposure to blood and other bodily fluids. It goes further into educating participants on what they need to do to prevent exposure to bloodborne pathogens and the steps to take if one gets exposed to blood or other body fluids like vaginal secretions, saliva, or mucus.
Several organizations and training centers offer the Online Bloodborne Pathogens Certification Classes, including Occupational Safety And Health Administration (OSHA), CPR Select, and the American Red Cross. This training is vital for the following reasons:
- It boosts the safety of professionals because it teaches them how to protect themselves against the risk of exposure and other dangers posed by bloodborne pathogens.
- The certification attained from this training helps ensure employees are qualified to work in certain special environments.
- It helps the training recipients learn how to protect others around them. Whether co-workers, family, friends or even strangers, they meet daily.
The bloodborne pathogens training can be taken through online, or in some cases, you may be required to attend a physical class. The training incorporates a written exam aimed at assessing what you have learned. When you attain a certain score in the exam, you will be awarded a certificate of completion. This certificate is valid for one year.
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Why is BBP Training Necessary in This COVID-19 Crisis?
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought a high risk of infection people face due to exposure to disease-causing microorganisms. We have realized that it is very easy to contract a disease, especially when you are not aware of the proper procedures relating to personal safety. The bloodborne pathogens certification offers the proper training and skills that we can apply in protecting ourselves during this time.
Let’s break down the skills you learn from the bloodborne pathogens training and how you can apply the same in protecting yourself against the Covid-19 virus.
1. Exposure control methods
The bloodborne pathogens study guide covers the procedures that healthcare workers and other professionals need to follow to protect themselves from infection. These procedures are also applicable to Covid-19 in the following ways:
- Immunization: As a control measure, the bloodborne pathogens training advises that individuals at risk of exposure need to get vaccines against diseases like hepatitis B virus and post-exposure evaluation. This is aimed at reducing their chances of infection. When it comes to the Covid-19 virus, vaccination has been implemented as a promising solution to the Covid-19 crisis. The vaccine is meant to help prevent serious illness after exposure to the Covid-19 virus.
- Handwashing and personal hygiene: The bloodborne pathogens training emphasizes the importance of washing hands and overall personal hygiene as a preventive measure to avoid exposure to blood. You will be advised to wash your hands with soap and warm water after touching potentially infected areas and people. With the Covid-19 virus, we are advised to frequently wash hands with soap and warm water as a preventive measure against the virus.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs): The bloodborne pathogens standard advises employees at high risk of infection to wear Personal Protective Equipment like masks, gloves, face shields, gowns, lab coats, resuscitation mouthpieces, etc to avoid contact with blood. During the Covid-19 crisis, we have seen the prevalent use of PPEs as a protective measure. It has become a requirement for the general public to wear masks. The training will also educate you on proper disposal methods for used PPEs, contaminated sharps disposal containers, and other contaminated materials and waste.
- Cleaning and disinfecting equipment and surfaces: The Bloodborne Pathogens Certification covers why it is essential to clean and disinfect medical devices and equipment such as tongs, scissors, and surfaces that may have come into contact with bloodborne pathogens. This has been proven to be an effective preventive measure against exposure to microorganisms. The same applies to Covid-19 prevention. Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces are helpful to protect against being exposed to the virus that causes Covid-19.
2. Identification of Bloodborne Diseases and How They Are Transmitted
The Bloodborne Pathogens Certification identifies all the bloodborne diseases and their symptoms. This includes severe diseases like hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, malaria, and syphilis. After identifying these diseases, the training discusses the potential routes of exposure in the workplace. This applies to the Covid-19 virus. You need to understand that the virus is present and its symptoms. It is also essential to know how one can get the Covid-19 virus.
3. Learn What to Do in Case of an Emergency
The BPP training covers what you need to do if an emergency situation arises that involves blood, who to contact for help, and the correct emergency procedures. The situation is similar to the Covid-19 emergency response. This includes the hotline numbers to reach and the overall response during emergency cases.
|Also Read- Why You Need Bloodborne Pathogens Training?|
Bloodborne Pathogens Courses and Covid-19
Questions arise about whether the Covid-19 virus can be transmitted through blood like a bloodborne pathogen. The virus that enters the body through the mouth, nose, and eyes replicates in cells, including blood. It then affects the blood environment leading to challenges in oxygen levels, nitrogen, iron, and other necessary elements for normal body function.
The Covid-19 virus is not precisely a bloodborne pathogen, but it replicates in the blood leading to malfunctions in how things work in the human body. Therefore, it is doubtful that the Covid-19 virus can be transmitted through blood exposure. However, the similarity between bloodborne pathogens and the Covid-19 virus is that they can both be transmitted via mucous membrane exposures to the mouth, nose, and eyes.
Pleural fluid, pericardial fluid, amniotic fluid, synovial fluid, cerebrospinal fluid, peritoneal fluid, and saliva in dental procedures may also contain traces of blood. Occupational Safety and Health Administration describes these human body fluids as other potentially infectious materials (OPIM). The bloodborne pathogens training addresses the best protective measures and controls against infection. These measures can also be adopted in addition to other control measures against Covid-19 disease. For this reason, bloodborne pathogens training becomes essential during the Covid-19 crisis.
How to Protect Yourself From COVID 19?
In a nutshell, to protect yourself from the Covid-19 virus, you can also follow the same safety protocols for protecting yourself from bloodborne pathogens as portrayed in the bloodborne pathogens training. This will include adhering to rules such as:
- Early identification of the disease and isolation. This will go a long way in curbing the spread of the disease.
- Practicing physical distancing when possible.
- Creating a physical barrier between you and the dangerous microorganisms. For instance, through partitions, wearing PPEs and respiratory protection, and engineering controls like ventilation.
- Practicing appropriate personal hygiene and cleanliness of surroundings.
Therefore, employers can help their employees by introducing bloodborne pathogens training. This will be quite impactful in infection control at the workplace, especially during this Covid-19 crisis. Individuals can also make an effort to undertake the course online as it is pretty helpful. Besides the certification required in certain occupations, the BPP training is an excellent investment for personal safety and the safety of those around us.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Meaning of “Work Practice Control”?
Work Practice Control refers to controls that reduce the likelihood of exposure by defining the manner in which a task is performed (Exposure Control Plan). According to Universal Precautions, all human blood and body fluids are treated as if known to be infectious for bloodborne pathogens.
Does My Employer Need to Pay For My Online Bloodborne Pathogen Training?
According to the training requirements in the OSHA Standards manual, all employers must provide bloodborne pathogen employee training to exposure-risk employees at no cost to the employee during work hours.
What Are the Examples of Engineering Controls?
Examples of engineering controls are sharps disposal containers, self-sheathing needles, safer medical devices, such as sharps with engineered sharps injury protections, and needleless systems.
Based on the information we have shared above, we have enlightened you on how essential Bloodborne Pathogens Courses are, especially in the looming Covid-19 crisis. Lessons from this training have proven to be quite helpful in our attempts to protect ourselves against the virus. You will agree that the same protocols for preventing infections from bloodborne pathogens apply to the Covid-19 virus.
Be encouraged to take online bloodborne pathogens training as soon as you can. You can do Bloodborne Pathogens Online Certification, and it will only take a little bit of your time, approximately 1 to 8 hours. Stay safe and healthy!
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