I am sorry you went through this R. Nurse:-( I too have been in your situation and actually contracted Hepatitis C. I'm assuming you have read my story in laughing's post, hence your friend request, but I'll post repost what I said here in this thread for your easy access and for others to read.
I had a pt pull an iv insertion needle out and throw it before it was retracted, and it stuck me in the thigh. High risk needlestick as it was a large bore, hollow needle that was freshly filled with his venous blood, plus it was trajected across the room into my largest muscle! I was lucky, though, as the pt was HIV negative and I turned out to be one of the lucky 15 percent of people and spontaneously cleared the virus in the third month without having to do treatment.
Did you start HIV prophylaxis? If you did, the advice I have for you is to stay on the anti-retro virals for as long as you can, or at least until the pt's HIV status comes back negative. If it is a high risk patient that may have been engaging in HIV risk behavior the last few months, then I'd stay on them for a full month even if his HIV test is negative....they suck hard core but your life depends on them. The odds of contracting HIV if you started the meds within 2 hours of your stick is dramatically decreased!!!!! Do not miss a dose!!!!
As for Hep C, the only thing you can do is wait and get tested. There are no anti-retro virals that help decrease transmission. If you contract it, you still have a chance of clearing it spontaneously but if you don't then treatment is fairly suscessful for some genotypes, but reportedely very unpleasent. In 6 weeks you should get a PCR drawn...forget about getting a Hep C antibody test because that can take months to turn up positive. But if you contract the virus, it will almost certianly be present in your blood and so a PCR viral count can detect it right away; within as early as 2 weeks even. But unless you have symptoms of seroconversion, testing as early as 2 weeks might be a waste of time and money. If you are positive, get a specialist referral right away. You will get a genotyping of the virus and you can also get a genetic test that looks at the morphology of your IL28B gene as that can help determine your odds of spontaneously clearing the virus (if you want to of course. Genetic testing is a whole bag of ethical worms that I won't go into right now and if you want to go that route, please get some counseling about it first so you can decide what is best for you). If you have the good morphology (CC), then you could possibly wait it out for 3 to 6 months to see if you spontaneously clear. If you have the bad morphology, then I think the recommendation is that you start start Hep C treatment right away, as waiting will just decrease your odds of clearing.
I actually planned to start treatment as soon as I was diagnosed but then got an acute attack right before I was to start. Got very ill, jaundiced, vomiting, horribly fatigued, ALT was almost 2000! My doctor told me this was a sign of spontaneous clearance, as I was showing a good immune response, and so I held off on treatment and waited a few more weeks and low and behold, I spontaneously cleared!!! I also had symptoms of seroconversion at 2 weeks post stick (fever of 104, chills, aches, lethargy for a few days) but I was given the shove off at the place where it happened so I had no guidance to get tested earlier and just followed up with my PCP at week 6 like she had originlly recommended.
Best of luck and keep us posted. So, so, so sorry you have to go through this and I wish you well.