oa Mosenodi - Occupational exposure to HIV infection and the use of universal precautions : the situation of obstetric and gynecological units in one referral hospital in Botswana
Nurse-midwives are in frequent contact with blood and body fluids and are at greater risk of occupational exposures. As such they are expected to protect themselves, while providing care. Occupational exposure among health care workers results mostly from needle pricks, blood and body fluid splashes. This raises questions regarding availability of engineering controls, and the appropriate use of Universal Precautions during practice. This study was conducted to determine the availability and adequacy of engineering controls; assess the condition of these controls, and explore nurse-midwives awareness of such controls. Observation and check lists were used to collect data, and findings indicated that most units do not have adequate engineering controls necessary to practice Universal Precautions. However, most nurse-midwives were aware of the need for engineering controls in most units. Based on these findings, one may conclude that health workers in the studied units were not protected and were therefore at risk of acquiring HIV infection during client care.
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