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OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Training Mandatory for Physicians

David LaHoda, for HealthLeaders Media, October 26, 2010

In addition to keeping Marshfield’s computer-based bloodborne pathogens training interactive as required by OSHA while introducing new content with annual training, Cunha recommends appealing to the safety culture that the organization maintains when dealing with physician OSHA training. That, and making sure you have physicians act as safety champions, he adds.

“Involve physicians directly in developing training. Find a champion on the medical staff, especially one in a leadership position, to help make it knowledge based and as easy as possible to get through while still giving them new information to take away,” says Cunha.

Engage for effective training

When engaging physicians for bloodborne pathogens training, think of yourself as a facilitator, not a lecturer, advises Sarah Alholm, MAS, who provides safety-related healthcare consulting services and training in Asheville, NC, and is the author of OSHA Training Handbook for Healthcare Facilities.

Alholm’s book uses the case study method, one that she feels can especially appeal to initial and annual bloodborne pathogens training because it involves analysis and decision-making, which helps give physicians the sense of directing the content of the sessions, she explains.

Of course, to do that effectively, you have to really know the content, Alholm adds.

Don’t forget that for bloodborne pathogens, OSHA allows you to tailor the training program to the learner’s job duties, background and education. You might not need to spend as much time on the routes, signs, and symptoms of HBV, HCV, and HIV with physicians as you would for other employees. “Touch on the requirements without getting too into the weeds,” says Alholm.

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2 comments on "OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Training Mandatory for Physicians"


David LaHoda (10/28/2010 at 1:56 PM)
I disagree with the above comment. Some highly educated healthcare workers either never had good or recent training in protection from bloodborne pathogens or have forgotten it. For example see "Notes from the field: YUCK! You got PUS, WHERE? (Here's the address http://blogs.hcpro.com/osha/2009/08/notes-from-the-field-yuck-you-got-pus-where/) and tell me that the doctor in that post couldn't use a refresher course in bloodborne pathogens safety. As for the baseball analogy...have you seen how poorly major leaguers are in the fundamentals of the game? Emphasizing the basics, especially when it concerns in health and safety in the workplace is usually a good idea.

JB (10/27/2010 at 7:11 PM)
I am no physician, but I'm as perplexed as they must be. I'm in the safety industry and I understand how OSHA's requirements are the same for everybody but sometimes they completely lack common sense. This makes about as much sense as making it mandatory that professional baseball players participate in "how to throw a baseball" training every year.