Frequently Asked Questions from School Staff
What should I do if I get body secretions on my hands?
Ideally, you should be wearing gloves when handling body secretion in accordance with universal precautions, but at times when you have had exposure or the gloves have not provided the protection you have needed, wash your hands or area of exposure as soon as possible after the exposure occurred.
If you have a question on whether you have experienced an incident that may need a medical evaluation, you may contact your building administrator, the building nurse or your physician as soon as possible after the incident.
Should I have disinfectants available in my room to clean contaminated surfaces?
Disinfectants are available to staff and should be used on hard surfaces, athletic mats, counter tops and any other surfaces that have had exposure to blood and other body fluids. Cleaning should occur at the conclusion of each day or sooner if known contamination has occurred. Areas such as changing tables used for diapering, should be disinfected after each student. Make sure to follow each product guidelines for proper disinfecting as many require leaving the product on the surface for 3-10 minutes before removal.
Towels, preferably disposable, must be used for one individual only and then placed in the appropriate receptacle. Mops must be rinsed with disinfectants and use of gloves is required.
Remember, Hepatitis B retains infectivity for at least 1 month at room temperature. As with any type of cleaning agents used around children, safety within the setting must be assured and chemicals should be properly labeled in accordance with school building housekeeping practices.
Do not use any supplies of your own without checking with your building custodian. Chemicals may cause damage to items or may not have proper tubercle bacillis agents or may not be approved products for use in the school setting. Please contact your building custodians for assistance and direction for proper cleaning of any areas of contamination. If you need assistance with obtaining any cleaning supplies for your own use in your area of work, please contact the building principal, custodian, or school nurse.
What do I do with contaminated items in my classroom or health room?
- Sharps such as syringes and sharps for self-checking and self-administration of insulin on school grounds, or other items such as broken glass should be placed in a disposable container which is closable, puncture resistant, leak proof on all sides and bottom, and properly labeled.
- Items that have sharp edges must not be picked up by hand. Use tongs or brooms and dustpans to prevent the risk of penetrating intact skin or gloves.
- Other items in your classroom that may be soiled or need discarding should be placed in a plastic lined, leak resistant container, puncture resistant (if containing contaminated sharps) and properly labeled in accordance with disposal of contaminated wastes.
Please contact your building custodian or the District Maintenance Director for specific concerns. The label for identification of infectious wastes is available from your building custodian/maintenance department or from the Washington State Department of Ecology. Below is a sample of the sticker that should be used.
If I know a person is infected with a blood borne virus, may I tell others?
- Students and Employees cannot legally be required to reveal their HIV/HBV or bloodborne infection status or have a requirement to be tested.
- Students and Employees may not be discriminated against if infected with HIV or HBV or other bloodborne infection.
- Employers may not discriminate against a person with HIV or any other Bloodborne Pathogen infection in employment, recruitment, transfers, rate of pay, hiring and layoffs, terminations, leave of absences, sick leave or other fringe benefits or job assignment.
- Sharing the information about a person's status with anyone may occur only following written permission from that person or the parent of a person under 14 years of age.
- Violation of confidentiality is a misdemeanor and may place a person at risk of civil suit if such breach of confidentiality results in harm to the person who is HIV, HBV or other bloodborne pathogen positive.
- Regardless of a persons HIV/HBV or other bloodborne infection status, all individuals and their body fluids should be treated equally by using "universal precautions."