Q&A: Who can perform needlestick evaluations?

OSHA Healthcare Connection, November 3, 2009

Q: After a needlestick, must we refer the exposed employee to a physician for postexposure evaluation, or can the referral be to a nurse or physician assistant from our practice?

A: The referral is usually to a physician, but the bloodborne pathogens standard only specifies referral to a licensed healthcare professional “whose legally permitted scope of practice allows him or her to independently perform the activities required by paragraph (f), Hepatitis B Vaccination and Post-exposure Evaluation and Follow-up,” according to Enforcement Procedures for the Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens.

For more details, see the “Ask the expert” post in OSHA Healthcare Advisor.