I'm going to start off by saying that I have a lot of what I consider anxiety and OCD about blood borne pathogen exposure when I am at work, and I find that the most ridiculous instances happen to me even when I take full precautions... anyway, the story is that I am walking down the hallway at work and I hear an IV machine beeping... Patient had just gotten out of the shower and I helped tie his gown. I then went to go reach for gloves and the small size glove box was closed. I try to insert my index finger forcefully to get the perforation to open and I remember feeling some pain by the skin of my cuticle. I get my gloves on and proceed to help patient. I then leave the room and glance down at my finger and realize it is bleeding. I washed it off with soap and water and hydrogen peroxide. Later (because I love to mentally torture myself) I open the pt chart and see that he's positive for HIV HEP C and Hep B..... my mind then spirals into what if my bleeding cuticle somehow came into contact with his blood. I do not see how this could happen as the patient wasn't actively bleeding, but I can't seem to control my thoughts. Irrational things like (what if fluids came in contact with the glove box? or what if I cut myself on something infectious and didn't realize it?) In my logical mind I would probably be laughed at to even consider reporting anything like this, so I am turning to you my fellow nurses to help reassure me that I am sincerely ok... or to tell me otherwise.
Please no mean remarks or judgment.. Just me typing this out is kind of making me see that I might be a little overboard... but It is night 3/3