Handling Medical Waste
Healthcare facilities, such as hospitals, physicians’ offices, dental practices, blood banks, veterinary hospitals/clinics, and medical research facilities and laboratories, generate medical wastes. As a healthcare worker, you may be exposed to medical wastes on the job. For example, patient care workers, housekeepers, maintenance personnel, and others may all be involved in handling medical wastes or at least come in contact with these materials. Some medical wastes can be hazardous to your health. This course is designed to explain the hazards of medical wastes, the precautions you can take to protect yourself from harmful exposures, and the procedures you must follow to protect yourself and your facility coworkers from the hazards of medical wastes.
Why “Handling Medical Waste” Matters:
- Healthcare facilities generate and dispose of vast amounts of waste materials that may be hazardous to employee health. These medical wastes can cause infection or disease.
- Some of the material disposed of by healthcare facilities may contain hazardous substances.
- Medical waste can be hazardous to employee health.
- How to handle and dispose of it properly.
- Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) whenever there is a risk of exposure.
- Wash carefully after handling medical waste.
- Finally, report any exposures and get a medical evaluation.