Learning for life: Health and safety

Life Long Learning and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) are the
processes by which professionals, such as nurses, develop and improve their

There are many ways to address CPD: formally, through attending courses,
study days and workshops; or informally, through private study and reflection.
Reading articles in professional journals is a good way of keeping up-to-date
with what is going on in the field of practice, but reflecting and identifying
what you have learnt is not always easy. These questions are designed to help
you to identify what you have learnt from studying the article. They will also
help you to clarify what you can apply to practice, what you did not understand
and what you need to explore further.

1. Which of the following is NOT a blood-borne virus?

a) Hepatitis A
b) Hepatitis B
c) Hepatitis C
d) HIV

2. Which country passed the Needlestick Safety Prevention Act?

a) UK
b) USA
c) Australia
d) Canada

3. How many categories were products grouped into?

a) 3
b) 4
c) 5
d) 6

4. Who was responsible for training the staff on how to use the products?

a) Line manager
b) OHN
c) Company representatives
d) OH doctor

5. The second needlestick injury during the trial was due to

a) Inadequate communication
b) Failure of a safety mechanism
c) Incompatibility of products
d) Poor technique

6. What opportunity was lost if there was a failure to return the
evaluation forms? The opportunity to influence

a) Safety policy
b) Which products will be used
c) Which products will not be used
d) Management

7. Each evaluation form had 13 points to consider, which one of the
following was NOT one of those points?

a) The packaging is clearly labelled
b) The safety feature is easy to use
c) Appropriate training is given prior to using the device
d) Training is not needed prior to using the device

8. With regard to safety devices what is a serious concern?

a) Doctor’s resistance
b) Financial implications
c) Sickness absence figures

9. What is the name of the software system for recording exposure to
blood-borne viruses?

a) SAFtinet
b) RCNnet
c) EPINet
d) HAIrnet

10. The use of sharps safety devices are

a) Compulsory
b) Voluntary
c) Recommended
d) Legislative


1.a) Revise your knowledge of blood-borne viruses. Hepatitis A is
transmitted via the faecal-oral route. 2.b). 3a) Of these three
categories two apply to the work of the OH nurse outside the NHS. Many OH
nurses take blood as part of health surveillance while also being involved with
travel health and immunisation. So even though this work was undertaken in a
hospital setting it is extremely relevant to most OH services. 4.c)
Training is an important part of the principles of prevention. Companies that
supply products are usually only too happy to provide training and information.
In fact many also supply accredited courses, some of which are accessible on
the internet. It is worth exploring the company’s website and finding out what
they offer. 5.d) All these answers could be correct, but in this
instance the poor technique demonstrated the importance of training. Review
your policy and procedures for handling sharps. Discuss with your colleagues if
you feel it is adequate or needs updating in light of needlestick accidents. 6.b).
Although one question was that the user did not need ‘extensive’
training. 8.b). 9.c) If you do not have one obtain a copy of the RCN’s
Be Sharp – be safe campaign, code no: 001 425. 10.b) The answer to this
question brings us back to question 2. Discuss with your clinical supervisor or
colleagues the advantages and disadvantages of making sharps safety devices a
legal requirement.

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