Essay: Needlestick Injury

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¶ … stick injury means that the skin gets accidentally injured during the use of a needle. As the name suggests, these sorts of injuries are common within the health care field. Needle stick injuries normally occur in large hospitals and are responsible for about 80% of the cases of HIV AIDS among health care workers. In 2005, it was estimated that every year 64 healthcare professional were affected with HIV only due to needle stick injuries. Blood Borne injuries such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV Aids are spreading chaos through the medical world today. As it would be expected, no patient walks in the first time with a label stating which disease he or she is. Due to this reason, the health care professionals need to be very careful when handling gloves. It is seen that tasks such as drawing blood or maintaining IV line is the sole responsibly of the nurses. Nursing professionals are trained to handle these patients very well and prevent these injuries. It is crucial to counsel the nurse about such incidence because disease such as HIV cannot be eradicated from the blood. Even though the task of using needles is not very difficult but mistakes do happen. Below we will discuss certain factors than increase the chances of needle stick injuries. In order to maintain a healthy environment, it is important to reduce the number of these injuries on a large scale.

Incident Report

This incident took place during a morning shift at O8:30 hours in a Sydney Hospital. Concerned in the incident is the student nurse who was administering a heparin injection to the patient. Even though the student was doing her task under the supervision of a registered nurse, she experienced a prick in the index finger of her left hand while disposing the used needle and syringe. The needle that the student was using had pierced her latex glove and causes her ginger to bleed as well. After this incident happen, the student rushed to wash her finger under running water. As it would be expected, the student was not aware of the health status of the patient. Panicked, the student informed the Registered nurse and an incident report was created at 09:40 hours. After the student had informed, both the student and the patient were tested for HEP B, Hep C and HIV Aids. The student was also provided with all the up-to-date immunizations as well.

Contributing Factors

Adams (2012) insisted that there are many factors that lead to needle stick injuries. Some reasons that cause these injuries are the type of device used the procedure that the nurse followed lack of knowledge and training on handling the needles and lack of knowledge about what could happen if this injury did occur. Apart from the aforementioned factors, factors such as lack of supervision, stress and long working hours also lead to increase incidence of needle stick injuries. Seeing how this incident occurred in the morning, it is possible that the student nurse had been working a late night shift. Long working hours caused the nurse to be tired and thus slack off while performing the duty.

Aziz et al. (2009) stated that it is possible to figure out the practice deficiencies if the staff is observed in a proper way. In other words, the waste managing capabilities of staff should be looked in a proper manner. Lack of supervision and control is a possible contributing factor to this incident. Even though the registered nurse was present, the students most probably did no it take the very reliable way to ensure if the staff is taking care of the waste is by examining the clothing and the external surfaces of the equipment. (Blenkharn, 2009) This was one incident that the RN did set. This only sets up an alert to check and see around other hazards that could be happening.

It should be noted that not all nurses are expert in handling different sorts of devices. Lack of experience with a certain device is a possible contributing factor the NSI that occurred. Stress is yet another factor that predisposes a nurse to not manage the given task in a proper way. IT should be noted that stress is regarding both before the Needle stick injury (NSI) and after it.

Deisenhammer et al. (2006) stated that lack of dexterity in handling the needle syringe device and little knowledge of consequences of needle stick injuries is a major contributing factor. One aspect of this discussion is that stress from the knowledge of consequences of needle stick injuries can contribute to its occurrence when we take this scenario in mind; we see that the opposite can also be true. The person concerned in this incident is a student nurse. Being a student nurse, it is very likely that he or she can forget the consequences of needle stick injuries. It is known that the Hepatitis B can survive for up till one week and Hepatitis C can last up till two days.

Literature Review

A study carried out by Small et. al (2011) went on to show that many student nurses are exposed to needle stick injuries during their courses at the hospital. This study is very relevant to this scenario because it shows the prevalence of such incidents and how common these incidents are. It shows that small incidents like NSIs can change a student's life and thus it is time to deal with these incidents. This study was carried out in University of Namibia and it went onto show that 17% of the student nurses sustained needle-stick injuries during the year 2008 alone. 55% of the occasions in which the students were injured, they were not supervised or accompanied by a registered nurse. (Small et. al, 2011) It is known that student nurses are expected to carry out such tasks but supervision is quite necessary. As mentioned earlier, lack of experience and lack of knowledge is a possible reason for the NSI that occurred in this incident. It is true that nursing students are required to administer injections but their abilities need to be supervised as well.

Jagger et al. (1988) stated that 326 NSIs resulted from the utilization of hollow bore needle use. His study was conducted in a university hospital in Virginia in the United States. In this scenario, we are not sure which sort of device the student nurse was using but it could have been a hollow bore needle. If this was the case in this scenario, it is only makes sense to put safer devices to use.

Costiglioal et al. (2012) went on interview 634 nurses who had experienced a NSI due to administering drugs for diabetic patients. They stated that after the injury they went through depression, anxiety, panic attacks and crying spells all due to the fear of contracting the disease. It is noted that this fear is psychologically present in all nurses during administering an injection. Therefore, a major contributing factor is the stress and fear of contracting a disease like HIV or Hep B

It should be noted that the sharp needle injuries cost a hospital a lot of extra money. To calculate how much money is actually spent in these ventures, Glenngard and Persson carried out a study in Sweden. The data about these injuries was collected from 18 different Swedish hospitals. It was seen which injuries actually make use of the hollow bore needles and which injuries don't. After figuring out the number o injuries, the cost associated with these injuries was also estimated. Furthermore, it was also estimated how much the hospitals would benefit if they maintained proper safety. It was seen that most of the cost associated with these injuries resulted from the investigations that followed. The annual cost was about 272 Euros per injury or around 1.8 million Euros total. (Glenngard & Persson, 2009) It was also seen that if proper safety measures are taken in place, then there could be a cost offset of around 800,000 Euros. Therefore the study conducted by Glenngard & Persson (2009) clearly demonstrates the significance of preventing these needle stick injuries.

Therefore, we see that the emotional stress and the increased cost due to the needle stick injuries cause are major reasons for the student nurse to panic about this situation. Seeing how Needle stick injury is quite a huge health care risk, researchers are looking for ways in which health care professionals do not have to make use of needles. In a study conducted by Chow et. al (2009) erythropoesis-stimulating agents (ESA) that are common injections in hemodialysis patients were taken into review. The study was therefore carried out such that these patients were administered ESA through a needle free route. It was seen that ESA was given to 10 hemodialysis patients though the venous bubble tap short line of the hemodialysis circuit. The study basically revolved around the experiences that nurses had and whether they preferred this needle… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Needlestick Injury.  (2013, August 9).  Retrieved July 23, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Needlestick Injury."  9 August 2013.  Web.  23 July 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"Needlestick Injury."  August 9, 2013.  Accessed July 23, 2019.