Spring 2015 Journal Summary Abstracts
Organization Leadership is a standing Journal column highlighting current hot topics. In this issue, Executive President Dee Tyler, RN, COHN-S, FAAOHN, provides a review of NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard's comments on the Future of Work and Health from the March 26, 2015 AAOHN Conference in Boston.
Vice President's Update
AOHP Vice President Dana Jennings Tucker, BSN, RN, CCM, presents an article written by AOHP member Stephen A. Burt, MFA, BS, that provides information and insight regarding how occupational health professionals should carefully review their accommodation policies for anything that might impose a burden on, or negatively impact, pregnant employees. He reviews continuing implications of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, recently released EEOC Enforcement Guidance, and the potential impact of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Young v. United Parcel Service.
This standard feature provides commentary from the current Journal Editor, Kim Stanchfield, RN, COHN-S. In this issue, she shares comments by AOHP Executive Treasurer Elaine Dawson reflecting on why she is so passionate about her career in occupational health.
Association Community Liaison Report
Through this regular Journal article, MaryAnn Gruden, MSN, CRNP, NP-C, COHN-S/CM, details how AOHP is gaining visibility as an expert regarding occupational health issues. In this edition, she reviews: the new TJC/CDC/NIOSH/NPPTL educational monograph Implementing Hospital Respiratory Protection Programs: Strategies from the Field; an IOM report on PAPRs; information from OSHA and NIOSH regarding healthcare worker fatigue; recent OSHA actions to protect workers; NAOSH Week and Global Health & Fitness Month; and updates on web pages that provide vital information to healthcare professionals.
Advances in Technology
This regular Journal column provides readers with helpful information about current technological advances that have the potential to improve the work of occupational health professionals. Column editor Cindy Brumley, RN, presents a discussion of file storage technology, including how a computer opens and saves files, as well as possibilities for fixing corrupted files.
EXPO-S.T.O.P. 2012: Year Two of a National Survey of Sharps Injuries and Mucocutaneous Blood Exposures Among Healthcare Workers in U.S. Hospitals
Grimmond, T., FASM, BAgrSc, GrDpAdEd, Director, Grimmond and Associates, Microbiology Consultants, Hamilton, New Zealand and Good, L., PhD, RN, COHN-S, Director, Employee Occupational Services, Scripps Health, San Diego, CA
Introduction. Blood exposure among healthcare workers is a serious occupational risk that healthcare facilities strive to reduce.
Methods. The Exposure Study of Occupational Practice (EXPO-S.T.O.P.) 15-question electronic survey is distributed to AOHP members to ascertain blood exposure incidence in their facilities.
Results. Survey data were derived from 157 hospitals in 32 states, an increase in participation of almost 26% from the prior year. Of the 9,494 blood exposures reported, 73.9% were from sharps injuries and 26.1% were from mucocutaneous exposures.
Discussion. National databases are valuable as benchmarking tools for individual hospitals, for determining national incidence rates, and for informed discussion on national issues such as prevention guidelines, resource allocation and legislation. This survey fills a critical void by determining blood exposure incidence, examining several new blood exposure parameters and comparing these rates with other databases.
Conclusion. This study shows that simple compliance with OSHA's Needlestick Prevention Act alone cannot eliminate sharps injuries at an acceptable rate. Aggressive research into how and why sharps injuries are still occurring is essential in every institution.
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