Written by Carin Mangimeli
Due to the increase in bloodborne illnesses and its potential spread to workers inadvertently coming into contact with it, the American Heart Association (AHA) is currently offering courses on the pathogens and the best techniques for avoidance and/or treatment.
According to the AHA, these courses are for people that are required to receive the training due to state regulations. Frequently, these workers can reasonably anticipate coming into contact with blood or other biohazardous materials on a semi-regular basis due to their job duties. These courses are aimed toward workplace settings that include the following:
- Childcare workers and school personnel,
- Health/fitness staff,
- Corrections and security workers,
- Tattoo and piercing artists,
- Hospitality workers,
- Maintenance workers.
These courses are short, approximately one-hour, and can be taught to many students at one time. In addition, the course meet the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) requirements for bloodborne pathogen training. The course materials also include posters for the workplace. The course is also available in Spanish. The only equipment needed to teach this course is a DVD player and screen – a computer with a DVD player can also be used.
The AHA centers its course on the PACT method to encourage students’ retention of the information.
P – Protect yourself from exposure;
A – Act when exposed;
C – Clean yourself and the area;
T – Tell or report any exposure.
OSHA does require employers to provide these workers with bloodborne pathogen training on a yearly basis. This course can be used as an initial training or the annual renewal course required or both. [Why not sign up your staff for Bloodborne Pathogens training today]
It should be noted, however, that the AHA and OSHA have not approved this course to be used for healthcare and emergency services workers. These workers may require more extensive training not currently offered by the AHA.