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Healthcare worker screening for nosocomial pathogens 

Healthcare worker screening for nosocomial pathogens
Chapter:
Healthcare worker screening for nosocomial pathogens
Author(s):

Paul Van Buynder

and Elizabeth Brodkin

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199600830.003.0284
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date: 25 February 2020

Health care organizations and their staff have a responsibility to prevent occupationally-acquired infections and avoid transmitting disease to patients. As well as being a known source of nosocomial infections, health care workers (HCWs) are at risk themselves of becoming infected in the workplace. Regulatory authorities in many countries advise or mandate screening for key blood-borne pathogens (BBPs) in settings where transmission between patients and staff is possible. Staff infected with a BBP are restricted from performing certain procedures. In addition to screening for BBP, health care organizations require a tuberculosis infection control programme. Routine screening of health care workers for other organisms such as MRSA is usually not indicated. Health care organizations should have robust policies to immunize health care workers against Hepatitis B and respiratory diseases. Many organizations now make immunization against key respiratory diseases a pre-requisite for employment as a key infection control patient safety strategy.

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