Chastity Bennett
Alvin Community College
RNSG 2121
April 10, 2016

Accidental needle sticks are easily preventable but happen all too often in the health care profession. It is very important as a nurse or member of the health care team to protect yourself and others from potential needle sticks. It is estimated 384,000 needle stick injuries occur in hospitals each year (Zerwekh & Zerwekh Garneau , 2015). Over the years new technology and protocols have helped prevent needle stick or sharp injuries from happening. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration developed a list of rules to follow to prevent needle stick and sharp injuries called, The Needle Stick and Safety Prevention Act (Zerwekh & Zerwekh Garneau , 2015).
Needle stick injuries must be reported with at least the brand and type of instrument used in the incident, the department of exposure, and details related to how the incident occurred (Zerwekh & Zerwekh Garneau , 2015). Keeping a log of injuries is not necessarily to get anyone in trouble because accidents happen. A report of what, when and how helps prevent future occurrences. If a trend can be detected from the injury log than measures can be taken to prevent accidents.
One way needle stick injuries are being prevented is eliminating the use of needles whenever possible. If there is no needle there is no needle stick injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control needless or protected needle IV systems reduced accidental needle stick injuries by 62% (National institute for occupational safety and health, 2014). IVs now have catheters instead of leaving a needle in the patients arm. This reduces discomfort for the patient but also gives the nurse the opportunity to dispose of the needle immediately rather than possibly another nurse dispose of it during a discharge or IV change.
The availability of sharps containers also helps prevent needle stick injuries. When the health care worker does not have to hunt down the...