What If I Get A Needle Injury?

During A Procedure or Operation

Although preventable, needle sticks and other personal injuries during procedures are also unfortunately common, they result from carelessness with sharps. Always, ALWAYS assume personal responsibility for your sharps when doing a procedure. This means that you personally pick up your own sharps and deposit them in an approved container when you are through with the procedure. If you are in the middle of a life-and-death situation and absolutely cannot stop to take care of your sharps, assign somebody, by name, to dispose of them properly. Do not just leave them sitting somewhere with the assumption that it is somebody else's job to clean up after you. In this day and age, it is worse than bad manners; it is potentially life threatening.

If you get stuck or cut during a procedure or operation, or suffer some other exposure to blood or body fluids, excuse yourself from the procedure and seek attention right away. During business hours, you should go to Occupational health Services, located at 640 Medical Arts Building. If the injury is emergent, or occurs after normal working hours, please go directly to the Emergency Department. You will also need to complete a "Tennessee Employer's First Report of Work Injury" form and have it signed by your Attending, Chief Resident or Resident in charge. These forms are available in both Occupational Health Services and the Emergency Department. If you have any questions arising from such an incident, or need further help, please call Dr. Eskind.

All entering medical students are required to have proof of the following immunizations and screening tests (a form, listing these requirements, was mailed to you by the Student Health Center):

  • MMR - Both the School of Medicine and the State of Tennessee require immunization against measles (92 vaccinations), mumps, and rubella.
  • A documented tetanus toxoid or Td booster within the past 10 years.
  • Hepatitis B vaccination (3 doses).
  • A TB skin test with results within the past 6 months.
  • Documentation of having had chicken pox (varicella).

The cost of all the required immunizations and screening tests are covered by Student Health Service. If you have questions regarding these immunizations, please contact Student Health Services at 322-2427.

Please help all of us make our working environment as safe as possible for everyone. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.