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The importance of empathy as it relates to bloodborne pathogens

19 Nov 2020 1:01 PM | Jerome Turner Jr

Today, the importance of taking universal precautionary measures to avoid the transfer of pathogens cannot be stressed enough. Not only has covid shaken the global economy. It has also shown the empathy we can be as a society toward those who have weaker immune systems. Simply wearing a mask, which I admit is restrictive and uncomfortable, can limit the transfers of covid and other pathogens. At this point it is not a matter of right or wrong, it is a matter of being empathetic towards an unknown being in need.

As stated in the OSHA video, most occupational contacts with bloodborne pathogens occurs through the mucus membrane (nose and mouth) or through open cuts. Following universal protocols like wearing personal protection equipment limits the likelihood of a pathogen being contracted a lot. What’s also important for us to remember is to communicate with those who have the potential to affected if we ourselves believe we have came in contact with a pathogen. We should be proactive and not reactive with matters like these before a calamity occurs.

In addition to protective equipment, employees must remember to always follow the correct procedures for cleaning, disinfecting, and disposing of contaminated materials. Often times people may do a good job cleaning up contaminated areas but incorrectly dispose of the cleaning materials. Second hand exposure to bloodborne pathogens could occur due to a soiled blanket or pointy needle being thrown away in the wrong container. We must make sure to treat the possible transfers of bodily fluids with the utmost care. So that employees who have second hand potential to come in contact with pathogens do not unknowingly contract a life altering disease. 

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