Possible exposure?...So much anxiety!

Nurses General Nursing


Hi all, thank you for taking time to read this. I am in my 7th month working as an RN on a "dirty" med surg unit. I am having some major anxiety issues... Last week i was doing a sacral dressing change on a pt with +aids and +hep b and MAC. I had on a gown double gloves cone mask and goggles. The pt had just been cleaned. Well, when I pulled back the hydrocolloid dressing (which was still a little moist from the wipes) the end of it snapped back and I felt a wet flick go in my eye. I didn't think much at first because I was wearing goggles but when I left the room I noticed there is a small area underneath the goggles that is open. So i flushed my eye with a syringe of saline just in case. There was no obvious blood but, Since the dressing was covering non intact skin with granulation tissue paired with the fact that These low budget goggles we have unknowingly had an opening underneath when worn with a cone mask (but what are the odds that the angle would go under right to my eye)... I started freaking out. I reported it the next day just to be safe but They said its not considered a true exposure since i wasnt 100% sure if there was blood It was just mainly slough that I remember seeing. This disease scares me so much I have a hard time even saying it, let alone thinking about this incident. I'm mad that I didn't wear a different set of more protective faceshield, I'm mad that they would even make goggles with no under shield, I'm mad at this whole thing because I cant stop worrying about it. Everyday I wake up i think, "did it really flick in my eye? What could "it" have been? Or Was I just imagining it happening from being so anxious?" what do you think? Help please I feel like I'm going crazy and this just adds to the anxiety of going in to work which I just cried before dreading going to work today... In need of some emotional help...I was never this unstable before nursing and lately ive been a mess. Should I be worried?

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC.

Moved to the General nursing discussion forum

I am sorry you are going through so much emotional upset and I am sure the membership will be across to offer their support.

However I will remind everyone that medical advice posted in this thread will be deleted

Specializes in FNP.

HIV transmission is highly unlikely, and I assume you have been vaccinated for HBV. I think you need to sit down with employee health and talk this through. Good luck.

I agree. You should immediately talk to your employee health. I (in a non-medical advice kind of way) would recommend considering prophylaxis if you think the body fluids may have actually gotten in your eye.

+ Add a Comment