Needel stick on last day of nursing school!

  1. I'm a little freaked out because I just got a nedle stick from a patient that has Hep C and he came in to the ED testing positive for almost every street drug I can think of. It was a sq shot so the likelehood of infection is less likely, but he also was pretty thin and I saw a small amount of blood on his arm when I pulled the needle out. In fact, he was so thin that it went through him into my thumb and back through him, so actually he has an exposure from me as well. And I'm also really freaked out because I declined to get the Hep vaccines at the beginning of school since I couldn't afford them, I could barely afford school at that point.

    Right now, I am just rying to forget about it until monday when I get all the test results back. I just wish this hadn't happened on my last day of school. It really put a damper on my mood.

    I think I need a piece of chocolate cake.
  2. Visit kenheather profile page

    About kenheather

    Joined: Dec '04; Posts: 26; Likes: 2
    Internet Operations Manager

    11 Comments

  3. by   ukstudent
    (((Hugs))) Sorry that this has happened to you. Not that it will make you feel any better but there is no vaccination against Hep C. So not having money at the start of nursing school made no difference, unless the pt also had Hep B. I do suggest that you get vaccinated now to protect yourself for the future.
    I also suggest that you go to lab and practice giving sq injections. I have no idea how you did what you did.
  4. by   kenheather
    Thank you for the support. I think the problem was not in my technique, but that athe hospital uses these insulin pens with a sleeve covering the needle. In order to get the sleeve to go back and get the needle in to the patient, you need to use more force than just a regular insulin needle. By trying to give it more force to go in, I ended up going in crooked and getting my thumb in the process. I'm told by HR that this is not the first time this has happened (In fact, my preceptor did the same thing at one point). And yes, that is a good point about the vaccine being only for B, it would not have made a difference. But, just in case I have allready started the vaccine series.
  5. by   Daytonite
    hep c is more of a chronic condition and now that you've been exposed to it you need to be vigilant to the symptoms of it for many years to come. this is the same kind of hepatitis that naomi judd had.

    since this occurred while you were in the performance of school activities and on the site of a healthcare facility your medical costs to cover any treatment for it should be covered by some type of school insurance or the facility's workers' comp insurance. in any case, keep copies of all the written documentation you have of the incident and your treatment in the event that anything related to this, god forbid, should happen 10 or 15 years down the road. i'm talking about keeping this documentation for as long as you would hold onto something like your birth certificate, which is forever. healthcare facilities are not obligated by law to keep their medical records longer than 5 to 10 years depending on your state law. that means it's up to you to keep copies of your medical records on this for any future problems should they arise. don't depend on the school or the facility to do this for you. you should read up on hep c as well:

    http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/bp_hepatitisc.html
    http://www.liverfoundation.org/ - american liver foundation
    do a search for hepatitis c on medline plus http://www.medlineplus.gov/ and you will get a return of many links to good information on the subject

    don't want to alarm you, but we had a lab tech that got hep c from a needle stick. he was out of work for 6 months getting treatment and almost died. when he came back to work he looked like a ghost, but was grateful he had survived.
    Last edit by Daytonite on May 2, '07
  6. by   kukukajoo
    http://www.hcvadvocate.org/hcsp/articles/Jensen.html

    The above website has some great information on it.

    Sorry this had to happen to you, I can't imagine the fear you must be feeling.

    Hep C can be awful if you get it, but I do know of one person who went through some new tretment and he now is cleared of the virus. Very promising new treatments available.
  7. by   rnmomtobe2010
    Please tell me it isn't true. That just scared me so bad and I am so sooooorry that it hyappened to you. Good luck on your results and keep us posted!!
  8. by   jemommyRN
    I am very sorry this has happened to you. Please be extra careful in the future. Have two pieces of cake, on us.
  9. by   Anne36
    Hey, how are you feeling today? Did you sleep ok last night? I hope you are getting some support from friends or family, I know you must be worried.
  10. by   luvmy3kids
    First of all, I'm so sorry this happened. It is one of my biggest fears because I am really fumbly when it comes to stuff and I'm afraid this will happen to me.
    So again, I'm really sorry...

    Secondly, I'm only pre-nursing at this time, but I was curious... what was it that you were doing? Were you giving an injection or starting an IV?? Were you wearing gloves?

    I'm asking because at my children's pediatrician clinic, when they give immunizations, the MA (yes that's MA) does not wear gloves. And it really bothers me. They said they don't have to because the gloves are for their protection, but I still don't like it. Luckily, my kids won't need any vaccinations for a few more years now, so I won't have to fight with her for a while yet, but it really upset me.

    Thanks for your help... like I said, I'm not a nursing student yet so I don't really know anything about this yet...
  11. by   kenheather
    I'm doing fine, I'm just trying to forget about it until the test results come back on monday. Right now, I'm just focusing on graduation on the 12th and reviewing for the NCLEX. The info that Kukukajoo posted was really helpfull as it gave some pretty low statistics for my getting infected (thank you!). I certainly will be more carefull in the future and will probably accept that job in OB as opposed to the job in critical care (not that it makes a difference, but I think I've lost a little confidence in the critical care arena). Thanks to everyone for the support and information, it's really helped me through this. I will keep you'all posted on the test results
  12. by   kenheather
    I was wearing gloves, but that only protects you against microscopic pathogens, not needles. I was giving an insulin injection using a subcutaneous needle, which is very small. And thank you for your concern.

    I would think that the MA at your office should be wearing gloves because the gloves are there to protect not only you, but the patient as well.

    It I were you, I wouldn't worry about getting a needle stick while in school, I was the only one that it happened to and that was on the very last day of school, so the chances are pretty good in favor of not getting one.
  13. by   luvmy3kids
    Quote from kenheather
    I was wearing gloves, but that only protects you against microscopic pathogens, not needles. I was giving an insulin injection using a subcutaneous needle, which is very small. And thank you for your concern.

    I guess that would make sense... the needle would still poke through the glove... geez... I'll make a great nurse some day.


    I would think that the MA at your office should be wearing gloves because the gloves are there to protect not only you, but the patient as well.

    I feel the same way. You just never know what could happen and I don't think she was taking the necessary procautions. It really made me mad.


    It I were you, I wouldn't worry about getting a needle stick while in school, I was the only one that it happened to and that was on the very last day of school, so the chances are pretty good in favor of not getting one.
    Thank you. When I read your post.. I actually thought it said first day of school (being May.. it never dawned on me), but to make it through that long, without a stick, that is very good.

    I've heard of nurses working 20+ years and never getting a stick, so I'm probably going to be ok... I can play the piano, type 50+ wpm, cross-stitch, and play a mean Ms. Pac Man, but when it comes to doing something with my hands and another person.... I'm all thumbs..

    Hopefully, I'll learn the skills on how to control that... we'll see! Take care, let us know what you find out on Monday!

    Jennifer

close