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Injury/Exposure Sustained in the Clinical Setting (Policy SON-02)

Download a Printable Version of Policy SON-02

Effective Date

Spring 2008

Last Revision Date


Responsible Party

Faculty, administrators and students in the School of Nursing.

Scope and Audience

All students in the School of Nursing.

Additional Authority

Boise State Office of Risk Management, OSHA

1. Policy Purpose

Students participating in Boise State University School of Nursing Programs may be at risk for injury or exposure to communicable diseases or hazardous materials in a variety of clinical situations. The goal of the faculty is to preserve the health and safety of students, clients and faculty in any clinical setting. The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance to both the student and the clinical faculty regarding procedures, rights and responsibilities in the event of student injury/exposure in the clinical setting.

2. Policy Statement

All student injuries sustained in class or a clinical setting, should follow the guidelines within this policy. Some injuries may include, but are not limited to needle sticks and splashes of blood or body fluids.

All needle sticks or splashes of blood or other potentially infectious material to eyes, mucous membranes or non-intact skin should be treated as if there is a potential risk of pathogen exposure.

Should an exposure occur, the student should implement the following procedures:

If the student sustains a puncture wound:

  1. Withdraw needle or other object promptly.
  2. Immediately wash hands/area of puncture using soap and water; follow with application of povidone iodine and/or alcohol.
  3. Encourage increased bleeding for a few seconds and use gentle pressure at the site of the puncture.
  4. Wipe away any blood.

If the student receives a spray or splash of body fluids:

  1. To eyes, nose, or mouth–irrigate with a large amount of water.
  2. To a break in the skin, follow procedure for puncture wound (#1 above).

For all injuries or exposures:

  1. The student will report the incident immediately to the clinical instructor, to the agency clinical supervisor and to the agency Infection Control Practitioner/Safety Officer/Employee Health Services. The student will follow the clinical agency’s procedures for reporting and follow-up of the exposure. Students must complete an incident report with their instructor according to the policy of the clinical agency before leaving the clinical facility.
  2. The student will seek a risk assessment and determination of recommended screening, treatment and/or follow up from the Infection Control practitioner, clinical supervisor, or other health care provider (if no infection control person/clinical supervisor in the agency). This assessment should be performed within one hour of the injury.
  3. The faculty will complete the University Risk Management form, Supervisor Accident Report. Please follow the link to access the appropriate report. File A Claim/Report – Risk Management and Insurance (
  4. The student should seek advice, screening and/or treatment immediately after an injury or exposure or as soon as possible. If emergency care is needed, the student should receive care at the closest facility or call 911. For non-emergent care, tt is recommended that medical treatment be obtained from the following preferred providers: St. Luke’s Occupational Health,  Boise State University Student Health Services,  St. Luke’s Occupational Health After-hours and Emergency Locations (
  5. The student should seek information regarding, but not limited to, the need for serum globulin (HBIG hepatitis B immune globulin), Hepatitis B vaccination, testing for Hepatitis B and C, HIV testing, prophylactic treatment for HIV exposure and tetanus immunization or other recommended treatment.
  6. The student may seek counseling and referral regarding implications of the exposure, risks and/or treatment from the following agencies:
    St. Luke’s Occupational Health
    Boise State University Counseling Center
    Boise State University Student Health Services

Should an incident be reported to faculty that does not meet the definition for an exposure, the the following procedures should be implemented:

  1. The faculty will complete the University Risk Management form, Near Miss Report. Please follow the link to access the appropriate report. File A Claim/Report – Risk Management and Insurance (

3. Definitions

Exposure: An exposure is an occurrence in which a person is subjected to an infectious agent in such a way that could lead to acquisition of a disease. An exposure would occur through parenteral or physical contact of blood or other potentially infectious materials with a student/employee’s mouth, eye(s), mucous membrane, or non-intact skin. Contact of blood or other infectious materials with intact skin does not constitute an exposure. Should an exposure occur, the clinical faculty and/or agency clinical supervisor will supply information regarding the appropriate protocol.

4. Rights & Responsibilities

4.1 Student Rights and Responsibilities

4.1.1. Student Rights

  1. The student has the right to receive accurate information with which to make informed decisions. The student has the right to seek care. For injuries and exposures considered under workers compensation, care may be directed. It is recommended that the student seek care at Boise State University preferred providers.
  2. Worker’s Compensation providers, the student may be responsible for all health care costs.
  3. The student has the right to privacy of information regarding any injury/exposure.

4.1.2. Student Responsibilities

  1. The student has the responsibility to follow the clinical agency policy regarding an injury/exposure.
  2. The student has the responsibility to protect patient/public safety.
  3. Complete and submit the clinical agency’s required reporting form, as well as, the appropriate Boise State University Risk Management Report Form in response to an incident or exposure. A copy of both reports will be retained in the student’s file.
  4. The student is eligible for Workers Compensation as a result of an exposure or injury as determined by Boise State’s insurance carrier.

4.2 Faculty Responsibilities

The clinical faculty/Clinical Course Coordinator will complete required reports and evaluation as required by the clinical agency policy.
If needed, the clinical faculty will assist the student in completion of a risk assessment regarding the accidental exposure.
The clinical faculty will ensure that the student is informed of his/her rights and responsibilities and the required procedures as described above.
The clinical faculty will inform and may assist the student regarding accessing resources for risk assessment, screening, advice, referral for testing, treatment, and counseling.
The clinical faculty will assist the student to analyze the occurrence regarding implications, if any, for future practice.
The faculty member is to notify the Course Coordinator and Clinical Placement Coordinator of the incident within 24 hours of the occurrence.
The faculty will ensure that students are oriented to the OSHA policies within each clinical agency.
Faculty will ensure the completion of the Boise State University’s Risk Management forms as required.

5. Forms

Boise State Risk Management File a Claim/Report:

Related Information

BSU: None

CHS: None

SON: None

Last Review Date


Revision History

Spring 2008, Spring 2017, October 2018, July 2021, April 2022, October 2023, December 2023, April 2024