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Contact with blood, need guidance!

Hol.alf Hol.alf (New) New


So I know there are some questions previously asked about this, but I wanted to ask myself to get answers directed towards my situation. I am a nursing student and had my first day today in L&D. The nurse asked me to put a chuck pad under the mom (this was about an hour after birth) as the mom lifted up, so I did. When I removed my hands, I had a smear of blood about two inches above my wrist (where my glove wasn't covering). Embarrassed, I just immediately walked to the sink and washed it off with soap and water. The nurse didn't say anything, I'm not sure if she even noticed. But earlier I had looked through mom's chart and saw she was negative for HIV and something else. So I wasn't too worried. Then, later, me and a few other students were looking at a placenta and the bottom side of my wrist touched the side of the basin it was in and got a smidge of blood on it AGAIN! I was embarrassed again and immediately washed with soap and water, then put sanitizer on. I don't know who the placenta came from and now I'm anxious that something may happen and I could get in trouble as I didn't speak up. But I was so embarrassed and felt I should have known better to be more careful.. as a student I didn't know who to talk to as my nurse wasn't friendly and kind of annoyed I was there and my instructor is cold and intimidating..

So my question, what do you think I should do? My skin on my wrist where I touched the blood is intact. And both times the amount of blood was small; First about the size of a half dollar, second was smaller than the size of a dime. I just need some peace of mind and appreciate any support I can get. I'm very shy when it comes to superiors and I am afraid of getting in trouble or just being in someone's way. It's a big problem, obviously! Lol. Thanks in advance!

Edited by Hol.alf

You didn't have any risk whatsoever since your skin was intact.

the skin is such an amazing barrier. Base on your description, you are safe. There wasn't anything contagious that you could have caught.

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

I doubt you have to be worried about casual exposure to intact skin, especially since the patient is HIV - - but hopefully you've learned to be more careful.

Your instructor is being paid to teach you and to answer your questions. In the future, if you are worried about something, your instructor would be the first person you go to. In your career as a nurse -- even in your career as an adult -- you will need to deal with people who are "cold and intimidating". Best to learn to do it now. It isn't easy, and I remember vividly the feelings of being shy, afraid to get in anyone's way and yet wanting to help and to learn. Still, the faster you learn to interact professionally with people you'd rather not interact with at all, the easier things will go for you.

As far as the nurse being annoyed that you were there -- that happens. Students, contrary to what you may believe -- vastly increase the workload for the nurse you are working with. You are a guest in their workplace. Students who go into clinicals with the attitude of being grateful for any teaching or criticism the nurse can provide will go further than students who go into the clinicals with the attitude that "I'm paying money for this and I deserve to be taught" or with the attitude that "I'm making their job easier" will find themselves having more negative interactions with the staff.

Don't worry about your blood exposure, get some sleep and think about what you could have done differently to avoid getting blood on you the next time.


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