Healthcare workers (HCWs) are frequently exposed to various infectious agents while performing their duties and many accidental exposures to blood borne and air borne pathogens are preventable if health care workers comply with appropriate precautions. Health care workers (HCWs) are defined as all paid and unpaid persons working in health-care settings who have the potential for exposure to patients and/or to infectious materials, including body substances, contaminated medical supplies and equipment, contaminated environmental surfaces, or contaminated air.
HCWs might include (but are not limited to) physicians, nurses, nursing assistants, therapists, technicians, emergency medical service personnel, dental personnel, pharmacists, laboratory personnel, autopsy personnel, students and trainees, contractual staff not employed by the healthcare facility, and persons (e.g. clerical, dietary, housekeeping, laundry, security, maintenance, administrative, billing and volunteers) not directly involved in patient care but potentially exposed to infectious agents that can be transmitted to and from HCWs and patients. While performing their duties, healthcare workers (HCWs) are frequently exposed to dangerous infectious agents. The risk of transmission of vaccine-preventable infections, both from patients to HCWs and from personnel to patients, other HCWs, and visitors is substantial. Measles, rubella, varicella, hepatitis A and hepatitis B-(HBV) are all vaccine-preventable diseases that are readily transmitted in healthcare facilities.
Last date updated on June, 2014