Patrick is a nurse working in the emergency department of the local hospital. During one of his shifts he is accidentally jabbed by a used needle. The needle punctures his skin and draws blood.

What should Patrick do?

Immediate self care is Patrick’s first priority.

First, he needs to allow the puncture wound to bleed, hopefully flushing any contaminates out of his body.

Second, he should wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water. After self-care, Patrick needs to report the incident to his direct supervisor, so an injury report can be completed.

Finally, Patrick will then be seen by a health care professional to determine the best course of treatment for him. Sometimes it is possible to test for various diseases if the exposure source can be identified. This is not always possible.