Nervous about lancet poking?

by angelsite2850 angelsite2850 (New) New

Hey everyone.

So I'm in nursing school right now and yesterday we were just taught how to do blood sugars. While transferring the lancet from the station to the trash, I was stuck. I drew blood, so I immediately swabbed in with alcohol and vigorously washed my hands (at least 4 times...). I reported this to my instructor and was sent to the ER for blood work but wasn't given anything. I don't know much about this patient besides she has cushing's and has a mental illness (and 2 kids). It is throwing me into a panic and I already have panic disorder :cry:

I know all I can do is wait and pray for the best.

The nurse practitioner told me that with the needle being so tiny, there is little chance that I could be infected IF she has something, but still. I'm wondering if any nurses had an experience like this?




Specializes in Infection Prevention, Public Health. Has 33 years experience. 204 Posts

Was the ED at the same facility? If so, they should have looked up the source patient's hepatitis and HIV status if known. If not known, they should ask the patient for permission to do those tests. Your exposure was fairly low risk. A lancet is not a hollow bore needle. You would be offered HIV prophylaxis meds only if the ED felt the patient was high risk.

The greater risk is hepatitis B, but you would have had to be vaccinated prior to your clinical experience.

Every health care facility has to have a written exposure control plan for blood borne pathogens. You should ask for a copy of that policy.

You need to correct your work practices. A used lancet goes into a sharps container, not the trash. The sharps container should be readily accessible. You should be using a retractable safety lancet NOT tiny lancets that patients use on glucometers for home use.

If you received your sharps injury at a larger facility, there should be an occupational health department that can answer your questions . You should have been provided with a repeat HIV test date and post exposure counseling. Make sure that you are given access to a contact person. I think you will be ok.

Edited by Oceanpacific



7 Posts

Since it is a rehab for mental illness, I cannot get access or ask for permission for blood tests. I have had my shots for Hep B...

Thank you for your answer.

mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 10 years experience. 3,069 Posts

Why are they using lancets that are not disposable and retractable??? Sticks from a lancet should be a non-issue.

Hope everything works out ok!



Specializes in CVICU. Has 1 years experience. 897 Posts

I'm just curious what kind of lancets your facility uses. Where I work, you twist the cap off of the lancet but it doesn't activate the needle until you press it against something (in this case, skin) and immediately afterwards, it retracts itself.

pookyp, LPN

1,073 Posts

What kind of old school lancets are you guys using?

I thought all lancets retracted ?



7 Posts

Update: I'm all good!