Communicable Diseases

Take this quiz and test your knowledge!

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You are working as an LPN. While administering insulin to a client, you notice that you have blood on your finger and you have pricked yourself with the needle. What is your ethical obligation in this situation?

A: Use alcohol swabs to cleanse the area, before you proceed with your work.

That’s not correct. LPNs are aware of the risks and dangers of transmitting infections to clients. LPNs who expose a client, in any way, to their blood are ethically obligated to be tested for blood-borne pathogens. See Principles 2 and 7 in the Communicable Diseases: Preventing Nurse-to-Client Transmission Practice Standard.

B: Write an incident report about the needle stick injury.

That’s not correct. LPNs who expose a client, in any way, to their blood are ethically obligated to be tested for blood-borne pathogens. See Principle 7 in the Communicable Diseases: Preventing Nurse-to-Client Transmission Practice Standard.

C: Proceed with your work and make an appointment to see your doctor.

That’s not correct. LPNs are aware of the risks and dangers of transmitting infections to clients. LPNs who expose a client, in any way, to their blood are ethically obligated to be tested for blood-borne pathogens. See Principles 2 and 7 in the Communicable Diseases: Preventing Nurse-to-Client Transmission Practice Standard.

D: Contact the occupational health nurse to be tested for blood-borne pathogens.

Correct! LPNs who are involved in exposure-prone procedures must know whether they have a blood-borne pathogen themselves so they can take appropriate measures to protect patients from any risk of transmission. See Principle 4 in the Communicable Diseases: Preventing Nurse-to-Client Transmission Practice Standard.

Keep up to date on the risks of exposure, transmission and treatment of blood-borne pathogens and other infections. Keep your own immunizations up to date to protect your clients, your colleagues and yourself from vaccine-preventable diseases, including influenza.

Photo by Bill McBain