Before you use a sharp object, such as a needle or scalpel, make sure you have all the items you need close by. This includes items like alcohol swabs, gauze, and bandages.
Also, know where the sharps disposal container is. Check to make sure there is enough room in the container for your object to fit. It should not be more than 2/3 full.
Some needles have a protective device, such as a needle shield, sheath, or blunting, that you activate after you remove the needle from the patient. This allows you to handle the needle safely, without the risk of exposing yourself to blood or body fluids. If you are using this kind of needle, make sure you know how it works before you use it.
Follow these guidelines when you work with sharps.
- Do not uncover or unwrap the sharp object until it is time to use it.
- Keep the object pointed away from you and other persons at all times.
- Never recap or bend a sharp object.
- Keep your fingers away from the tip of the object.
- If the object is reusable, put it in a secure, closed container after you use it.
- Never hand a sharp object to someone else or put it on a tray for another person to pick up.
- Tell the people you are working with when you plan to set the object down or pick it up.