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Occupational Exposure Protocol

Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens/Needle Stick Protocol

Exposures to potentially infectious blood or body fluids as a result of needle sticks, cuts or splashes that occur on assignment (clinical sites, labs, etc.) could result in transmission of blood-borne diseases such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or HIV.

Protect yourself Heading link

  • Plan for safe handling and disposal before using needles.
  • Dispose of used needles promptly in sharps disposal containers.
  • Complete annual blood borne pathogen training.
  • Get your hepatitis B vaccines.
  • Report all sharps-related injuries to your preceptor/clerkship director, and Student Health and Wellness to ensure appropriate follow-up.

In the event of an exposure, use the following procedure:

  1. Clean it: Wash the area immediately and thoroughly with soap and water. Eyes should be flushed with saline or water. There is no evidence that expressing fluid from a wound reduces the risk of blood-borne infection.
  2. Get Treated: Seek treatment within 1-2 hours after initial exposure, as is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    Hospital: 7 a.m.-5 p.m.: Report to their employee health services department for care right away.
    Hospital AFTER 5 p.m.: Report to their emergency department for care.
    Clinic site: Report to Noel Pycior, APN, in Student Health and Wellness for care. Call Student Health and Wellness immediately at 815-395-5870. If after Student Health and Wellness hours, go to the emergency department near you.
  3. Report it: Notify your preceptor/clerkship director/faculty right away. Notify Noel Pycior, APN, within 24 hours of the incident to fill out and review the Student Clinical Experience Incident Report Form 2023.
  4. Follow up: Any follow-up care deemed necessary by your initial evaluation in the emergency department or employee health services must take place in Student Health and Wellness by scheduling an appointment with Noel Pycior, APN. If you are not in Rockford, then you can schedule this per your insurance network with your health care provider.

Insurance Billing for the Incident Heading link

In most cases, payment for an ER visit is based on the guidelines of the student’s own health insurance coverage or CampusCare. Students are not covered by Workers’ Compensation. Effective immediately, UIC Health Sciences Campus-Rockford students that report an injury and present to the hospital or site for care, must provide their private, public, or CampusCare insurance card at the time of service. Your insurance plan will be billed for the services rendered.

Keep in mind that injuries or needle sticks need to be reported in 24 hours or insurance may choose to not cover payment.

Any remaining balance or deductible that you incur after your insurance has paid for the visit will be covered by our Student Health Fee budget. A remaining balance can then be billed from the health system directly to the UIC College of Medicine Rockford – attention Student Health and Wellness, 1601 Parkview Ave. Rockford 61107.

UIC is not able to reimburse students for a bill, but will cover a balance if the campus is billed directly.

If you have further questions, or concerns, contact:

CampusCare Insurance Coverage Heading link

CampusCare has adopted the policy that all exposures to blood or body fluids that occur because of a needle-stick, puncture, cut, or spray injury are defined as a true, life-threatening medical emergency. In the event of such an emergency, the student should proceed to the nearest employee health office or emergency room as directed above for treatment.

The student or someone on the student’s behalf is required to notify Noel Pycior, APN, as your primary care provider within 24 hours of receiving care to approve urgent services for CampusCare coverage. Such notification does not guarantee that CampusCare will be responsible for the incurred charges. The determination as to whether the condition meets Emergency Care guidelines is made by the Medical Director of CampusCare or their designee. If further questions or concerns arise after reporting the incident to the Director of Student Health and Wellness Noel Pycior, APN, students may call CampusCare directly at 312-996-4915.

Note: An exposure must be billed as an injury. If you have any occupational exposure to bodily fluids immediately notify the doctor/team you are working with of the incident and that you need to seek medical attention right away.