Clinical Safety

Protecting Yourself in the Clinical Setting:

  • Exercise common- sense & blood borne pathogen precautions to protect yourself and your patients from the spread of infection
  • Plan ahead. If you do have an exposure, have a plan and act quickly. Lack of insurance coverage is no reason to forgo care.
  • Here is the UW SOM Policy for Blood Borne Pathogen Exposure
  • Costs of the baseline exposure lab work and the initial 3 weeks of chemoprophylaxis, will be covered by the Office of the Vice President for Medical Affairs, if not covered by your insurance.
  • When you arrive at your R/UOP site, talk with your site coordinator about safety policies and procedures at your site. Learn the location of necessary protective equipment and ask for anything you find missing during your site orientation.
    Health Insurance:
  • Students are NOT covered by Workman's Compensation for injuries or illnesses that occur while participating in school activities.
  • We strongly encourage you to buy both health and disability insurance. Affordable health insurance is available to all University of Washington students. For more information, call the UW Student Insurance office at 206/543-6202 or the HHPCC patient care coordinator at 206/616-1881.
    Infection Prevention: GO SLOW! PAY ATTENTION!!
  • Use Universal Precautions.....ALWAYS!
  • Hand washing protects both patients and healthcare providers. Wash hands before touching patients, before and after glove use.
  • Gloves are worn before contact with the patient's mucous membranes or open skin...even for injections and suture removals. Contaminated gloves are removed and discarded into an appropriate waste container.
  • Gowns and/or plastic aprons are used to cover areas of the skin or clothing that are likely to become soiled with body substances during patient procedures or care.
  • Facial barriers: including masks, glasses/goggles and face shields are worn whenever splashing or splatter of body substances into the mouth, nose, or eyes could occur. Masks are also used for certain airborne diseases.
  • Other barriers: such as hair covers, shoe covers, and boots may be used when extensive exposure to body fluids may occur (e.g., cystoscopy, vaginal delivery, multiple trauma).
    Sharps Management:
  • Make every effort to prevent accidental injury to yourself and co-workers.
  • Discard all used sharps into rigid impervious containers.
  • Do not routinely recap contaminated needles.
  • Forceps may be used to carefully remove contaminated needles or knife blades.
  • Additional "safe" sharp practices are applicable in the operating room or during special procedures.
    Immunization and TB Skin Testing:
  • For your protection and the welfare of your patient, the SOM requires that medical students are up to date with immunizations.
  • All RUOP students are required to have a copy of their immunization records with them in their RUOP community health sites.
  • Collect your immunization records from your campus health center or the Campus Immunization Center at Hall Health Primary Care Center, Seattle.
  • For questions about immunization requirements or compliance issues email Hall Health
    here.