Laboratory Safety Manual

COLLEGE OF ST. BENEDICT/ST. JOHN'S UNIVERSITY

DEPARTMENT OF NURSING

SAFETY POLICY AND PROCEDURES

  

Please also note the Colleges' policies related to environmental health and safety found at: http://www.csbsju.edu/ehs/default.htm

I. INTRODUCTION

It is the intent of the faculty and administration in the Department of Nursing to provide a safe learning experience for all students.

The following policies and procedures are established to provide instructions in maintaining safety for students, staff and faculty while using the nursing laboratory (hereby referred to as "lab(s)") within the CSB/SJU Department of Nursing and off campus clinical setting. These policies and procedures shall be adhered to by all concerned.

The Lab Coordinator along with the Nursing Department Safety Committee will update the contents of this manual every two years or more often as necessary. All students, staff, and faculty will be advised of these revisions. The CSB/SJU Director of Environmental Health and Safety serves as a resource to the Lab Coordinator and is to be consulted as needed with issues related to the safety of the lab. Note that this document is consistent with the safety policies and procedures of the Colleges. The Lab Coordinator is responsible for enforcing the regulations set forth in this manual.

 

II. GENERAL GUIDELINES

  1. All faculty, staff, and students must know and practice the safety guidelines at all times while using the labs. Failure to adhere to general guidelines can result in disciplinary action. This manual will be available in the lab and electronically. Students will be instructed to review the contents upon admission to the clinical component of the curriculum and/or when utilizing the laboratory spaces.
  2. The Lab Coordinator will provide an annual review for faculty, teaching assistants, and students. Following the review, participants will be required to electronically sign and date a Forms Manager form acknowledging that they understand the policies and procedures of the safety manual. Failure to complete the form, will result in loss of the ability to use the lab.
  3. All labs are locked unless occupied by faculty and/or students during class or practice.
  4. Students should at all times practice safe and appropriate techniques while learning and practicing skills in the lab.
  5. Students should be knowledgeable of the care, handling, and proper use of equipment prior to using it in the laboratory.
  6. Students should report pregnancies, physical handicaps, recent injuries, illnesses, surgeries, or communicable disease to faculty as soon as possible so that necessary precautions may be taken. A medical clearance from a physician as well as permission of the Lab Coordinator and course instructor(s) may be needed before students with aforementioned concerns will be allowed to utilize the laboratory spaces.

 

III. LABORATORY SAFETY

A.    Infection Control

1.      Universal precautions will be followed at all times (Refer to Blood Borne Pathogen Exposure Control Plan, Section I) when there is exposure or potential exposure to blood or body fluids.

2.      Eating, drinking and smoking are not permitted in the laboratory spaces.

3.      Gloves are to be worn by students and faculty during any potential contact with blood and body fluids.

 

B.     Physical Space

1.      All doors and cabinets will be closed when not in use.

2.      The work spaces, floors, beds and desk areas will be kept clean.

3.      Any misconduct occurring in the lab will be reported to the Lab Coordinator.

4.      Malfunctioning equipment will be reported to the Lab Coordinator.

5.      Laboratory doorways will be accessible at all times.

6.      The lab and supplies will not be used to provide medical treatment for students, staff, or faculty.

7.      Unauthorized personnel are not allowed in the labs at any time. Injury to unauthorized personnel in the lab will not be considered the responsibility of College of St. Benedict/St. John's University.

 

C.     Medications and Fluids

1.      When breaking glass ampules for practice, students will use ampule breaker devices.

2.      Placebos (candy pieces, commercially prepared PRACTI-med and water) will be used for simulation of oral/topical medications.

3.      IV fluids with expired dates may be used for practice and demonstration only.

 

D.    Needle Safety

1.      The Lab Coordinator will annually review and document the needles and syringes we are using, why we chose these devices, and the safety features of the devices. The Lab Coordinator will send this information to the Director of Environmental Health and Safety of the colleges.

2.      All drawers with needles will be locked at the end of a lab session and containers, bags or equipment with needles will also be secured.

3.      Needles provided for practice of injection are used in the lab only when the teaching assistants or faculty are present for assistance. Students must demonstrate safety precautions while utilizing needles during practice as instructed in class.

4.      Needles will never be recapped after use. Used needles are to be disposed of the Sharps containers provided throughout the lab space.

5.      Needles and other sharp objects must not be discarded in the trash or left out openly in the lab at any time.

6.      Injection practice will only occur on the manikins or practice injection pads provided in the lab.

 

E.     Electrical Safety

1.      Wet materials may not be used around electrical outlets or equipment.

2.      Faculty and students are responsible for reporting to the appropriate faculty/staff any frayed electrical cords, cracked plugs, missing outlet covers, etc., as well as any problems encountered while using electrical equipment.

3.      No electrical cords will be left in the pathway of walking traffic. Extension cords will be properly taped to the floor if used over a walkway.

4.      Only three-prong plugs that contain a ground wire should be used to power equipment in the skills labs. 

 

F.      Ergonomics

1.      Students will be instructed in principles of body mechanics prior to practice.

2.      Students should use caution when lifting and should not lift equipment, manikins, or other students without assistance.

3.      The wheels of all equipment (wheelchairs, stretchers and beds) are to be locked during practice and return demonstration.

 

IV. CLINICAL SAFETY

A.    Off-campus clinical experiences

1.      Students will follow the safety policies of the clinical institutions where they are participating in clinical experiences.

2.      In the absence of clinical institution safety policies, students will consult with faculty and/or Department Chair prior to performing procedures. Invasive procedures will be performed at the discretion of the assigned clinical faculty.

 

V. INJURY

A.    Reporting of an injury

1.      Any incident occurring in lab or clinical during school hours must be reported immediately to the faculty or lab coordinator.

2.      A faculty member will assess the student/staff and administer first aid as needed (per CSB/SJU policy).

3.      The faculty/staff/student will be assisted to the Student Health Center, appropriate agency, or personal physician depending upon the nature of the injury. Campus Security may be called to assist in transporting a student to a health care agency or call 911 depending on the severity of the injury.

4.      For student or faculty exposures the following form(s) must be filled out for the injury/incident.

a.       Student accident report form To report incidences that occur to students in academic proceeding - the student should NOT have been compensated for the procedure (e.g. labs, studios, workshops etc).

b.      Exposure Incident Report Form (You must print and complete a hard copy (PDF) signed by your supervisor and submit to EHS)

5.      The Department Chair and/or Lab Coordinator will follow up with the student within 3 working days. A copy of the incident report and a written follow up report will be kept in the student's file.

 

VI. CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE OF THE LABORATORY AND EQUIPMENT

A.    It is the responsibility of all those who use the lab for keeping equipment and the physical space clean.

B.     Gloves are to be worn for personnel using harsh disinfectants to clean the lab.

C.     Equipment located in the skills lab will be cleaned by teaching assistants as needed. The protocol for cleaning equipment is directed by the product manufacturer. Linen on beds will be changed and laundered when soiled, after extensive use, and at the end of each academic year.

D.    The lab equipment will be kept in good working condition. Any faulty or broken equipment should be reported immediately to the Lab Coordinator

 

VII. SHARPS AND BIOHAZARD WASTE DISPOSAL

A.    Potential infectious wastes are collected, contained, stored, and disposed of according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines.

B.     Batteries used in skills lab equipment will be disposed of through the Hazardous Waste Office.

C.     Sharps disposal is handled by a professional disposal service. When Sharps containers are full the Environmental Health Safety Office and/or the Lab Coordinator should be notified.

D.    The Lab Coordinator will conduct a yearly evaluation of Sharps safety. The evaluation will examine clinical agency product and policy changes, as well as new Sharps-safety research and products. Laboratory supply and environmental upgrades/changes will be made accordingly.

 

VIII. EMERGENCIES

A.    Fire

1.      Alert people in area to evacuate.

2.      Activate nearest fire alarm or call 5000 (Notify campus security).

3.      Close doors to confine fire.

4.      Evacuate to safe area or exit building through stairwell-Do not use elevator.

5.      Provide emergency personnel with any pertinent information. Students and faculty should become familiar with the location of the nearest fire extinguishers and pull boxes for fire alarm. Building diagrams that indicate fire escape routes and locations of fire escapes are located in each laboratory and by fire extinguishers.

 

B.     OTHER EMERGENCIES

Contact Campus Security (5000) and/or refer to the Emergency Response Procedures pamphlet which is also found on the back of all doors in the Nursing Department for other emergencies including: Active shooter/violent intruder, alcohol poisoning, assault, bomb threats, chemical spill, fire, medical emergency, mental health emergency or suicide attempt, severe weather, suspicious person or criminal activity, utility failure and weapons.

References: Please refer to the Environment Health and Safety Policies web page and the Emergency Response Procedures pamphlet.

Updated November 2014.