Nurses and exposure risk


Hi. I am just wondering everyone's opinion on nurses and exposures to blood born pathogens. I'm a relatively new nurse and I wonder that with as much handling as I do with bodily fluids is there a chance that something could splash in my eye in small (I'm mean really small) amounts and I might not know it and it lead to infection? All my life I've been pretty OCD and worried about "germs," and now that I'm a nurse I worry more with all the close patient contact I have each day. What are your thoughts?

Has 13 years experience.

Yes we are at risk everyday. Make sure to use your PPEs as needed. I often wish I just always wore a nice face shield as I grow tired of having patients cough/sneeze in my face..

RNperdiem, RN

4,591 Posts

Has 14 years experience.

It is unlikely.

Most of us are going to die of the common and mundane causes like heart disease, cancer ,strokes, Altzheimers.

Use common sense in your PPE, eat right, exercise, manage stress, wear your seatbelt and focus on things you can control to ease your anxiety.

Tait, MSN, RN

6 Articles; 2,140 Posts

Specializes in Acute Care Cardiac, Education, Prof Practice. Has 16 years experience.

As nurses we are some of the best educated when it comes to protecting our own bodies. I have definitely been splashed in the eye with bloody pee once (stupid cheap foley bag closure) but all was well. I agree though I get so tired of patients who don't cover their mouths when they cough...though my MSN preceptor did the same thing ~.~

nurseprnRN, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 5,114 Posts

Wear glasses if you are really worried about your eyes. You can get some at the MalWart with plain lenses if you don't need corrective ones. Otherwise, think about how often you get things flying into your eyes in the course of daily life. Right, bet you can't think of the last time (eyelashes don't count). You have a good blink reflex for a reason.

Other than that, you have skin for a good reason, too. Keep it intact and in god shape and you don't have to worry about splashes and such. Use the PPE they give you. And as RNperdiem says, wear your seatbelt and take care of your general health and well-being.


251 Posts

Specializes in Trauma | Surgical ICU. Has 7 years experience.

Best thing to do is wash your hands and keep your skin intact. Get a good night sleep and be healthy.

Remember that most of these infectious diseases affect people with already compromised immune system. Keeping yourself healthy is your best protection.

Also, germs are everywhere... you have it inside and outside your body... be comfortable with living with them. If you get splashed in the eye, wash it with running water/normal saline for a good 2 minutes and go to your employee health/ER right away.

jschut, BSN, RN

2,743 Posts

Has 20 years experience.

Wear your PPE and wash your hands.... you should be safe.

Specializes in ICU. Has 30 years experience.

I have been a nurse for many years now, and I must say, I very rarely get sick with anything. Maybe I just have a good immune system. Try to eat immune-boosting foods and get plenty of sleep. I also hate it when patients cough right smack in your face. Sometimes I am more afraid of germs outside the hospital, such as at restaurants. I always scrub my hands well after shopping, and don't touch anything in a public restroom!

Sun0408, ASN, RN

1,761 Posts

Specializes in Trauma Surgical ICU. Has 4 years experience.

I'm more worried about things outside the hospital. I know what my pts have lol, I don't know what the last person that had the shopping cart had :)


215 Posts

wash hands.... wash hands and wash hands i'll be more concerned about the computers desks and etc.... some people dont wash their hands like they are supposed to.....


215 Posts

like Sun0408 said ^^^