Sharps injuries: what nurses need to know about the risks
Training is needed to reduce avoidable injuries and minimise infection risks for nursing staff
A survey of 7,571 RCN members found almost two thirds (63%) of respondents had received at least one sharps injury during their careers. A quarter (25%) of mental health unit staff sustained sharps injuries in the past 12 months, as did 22% of care and nursing home staff and 18% of staff working in patients’ homes.
But even with such a large number of injuries, the survey exposed a lack of understanding among nursing staff about the risks – 82% perceived the disease risk from sharps injuries as low to nil.
This is despite the potential for blood and body-fluid exposure to put healthcare workers at risk of infection.
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