How Lab Technicians Can Safely Handle Bloodborne Pathogens


Lab technicians have to handle a lot of bloodborne pathogens, which can be harmful to their health. Fortunately, there are ways that you can protect yourself. First, let's take a look at how lab technicians can be exposed to these pathogens and then look at some ways you can prevent exposure when working with them in the lab.

How can lab technicians protect themselves from exposure to bloodborne pathogens?

To protect yourself from exposure to bloodborne pathogens, you should:

  • Use personal protective equipment (e.g., gloves). Always wear latex or nitrile gloves when handling potentially infectious materials.
  • Use a biological safety cabinet (BSC) when appropriate. A BSC is an enclosed workspace that contains a ventilation system designed to capture and remove infectious aerosols produced by procedures being performed inside it. You should only use BSCs for activities that require their use according to your institution's policies and procedures. If there is no policy at your facility regarding the use of BSCs, ask someone who does have knowledge about them for guidance on how best to protect yourself during these activities

What are the most common ways that lab technicians become exposed to bloodborne pathogens?

Lab technicians can become exposed to bloodborne pathogens in several ways. The most common way is when they work with blood samples, either by testing them or using needles and other sharp instruments that have been used on patients with infectious diseases. Other ways include using chemicals that are hazardous to your health, being exposed to infectious agents through contact with blood or body fluids, or being bitten by an insect carrying an infectious agent (e.g., mosquitoes).

As a lab technician, you should be aware of how to prevent exposure in the lab: follow proper safety procedures such as wearing protective clothing and masks; use bleach wipes before performing any task involving blood samples; wash your hands after handling potentially contaminated materials; avoid handling sharp instruments without gloves on; wash hands thoroughly after removing gloves before eating food or touching surfaces outside of the laboratory area (e.g., door handles).

How can you protect yourself from exposure?

To protect yourself from exposure to bloodborne pathogens, you should always wear protective gear, including:

  • A gown and gloves.
  • A mask.
  • Gloves and masks can prevent contact with body fluids during procedures like sample collection or testing, which means they'll help keep those fluids away from your skin and out of your mouth. When working with bodily fluids in the lab, it's important to avoid touching any part of your face (including your eyes) using clean hands or disinfectant wipes as needed. After completing work on a client's sample or test results, wash up immediately with soap and warm water before eating food or drinking beverages--this will reduce the chance that any viruses are transferred onto food items that could then be ingested by someone else later on!

How do you know if you've been exposed to a pathogen?

It's important to know that the signs and symptoms of exposure to bloodborne pathogens may not be obvious. You might find yourself feeling ill, but you might also feel perfectly fine. If you suspect that you have been exposed, report it immediately!

It's also essential that you seek medical attention as soon as possible if any symptoms appear after an accident in which blood was spilled or splashed on your skin or clothing. Your doctor will help determine whether or not testing is necessary and what kind of treatment options are available for people who experience these types of accidents at work (or anywhere else).

If there's any chance that other people could have been exposed through contact with your blood or body fluids during an accident involving pathogens like hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), HIV/AIDS virus, or others described below then please make sure everyone else gets tested too--even if they don't feel sick right away!

Who should have their Hepatitis B vaccination booster shot and when?

Who should have their Hepatitis B vaccination booster shot and when?

If you are at risk of exposure or work with patients who have been exposed to bloodborne pathogens, then it's important that you get vaccinated against hepatitis B. If you are a healthcare worker, lab tech, or healthcare professional who works with patients who are at risk of exposure, then it is recommended for all three groups--as well as anyone else who may be exposed to bloodborne pathogens on the job--to receive the vaccine every 10 years after initial vaccination (or whenever they were last vaccinated).

What about other vaccinations for lab workers, like Hepatitis A and influenza (flu)?

  • Hepatitis A is a vaccine that prevents Hepatitis A.
  • Influenza (flu) is a vaccine that prevents influenza (flu).
  • Hepatitis B is a vaccine that prevents Hepatitis B. You can get a tetanus shot at any age, but it's most important to make sure you're up-to-date on your vaccinations if you work with blood or body fluids at work or school, such as in healthcare settings like hospitals and clinics; or if you have an injury in which there may be an open wound on your skin; or if someone else has an open wound on their skin near yours (for example roommates). These vaccinations are usually given in a series of three shots over six months; the first dose is usually given to children when they are 12 to 15 months old.
  • A tetanus booster should be given every 10 years after having had one before adolescence (between ages 11-18).

Lab techs should be aware of how they can protect themselves.

You should be aware of how you can protect yourself from exposure to bloodborne pathogens. You should also know what actions you can take to prevent exposure and minimize the risk of infection in your workplace.

  • Lab technicians should not put their hands or other body parts in their mouths while working with potentially infectious materials; this includes wearing gloves when handling needles and syringes, as well as washing hands thoroughly with soap and water before leaving the laboratory area.
  • When working with infected animals or animal tissues, lab techs should avoid direct contact with any potentially contaminated materials that may be present on the clothing, skin, or hair of others who have been handling them (for example veterinarians).


Lab techs should be aware of how they can protect themselves. The best way to do this is by following the guidelines for preventing exposure to bloodborne pathogens. You should also make sure that your vaccinations are up-to-date, especially if you're working with Hepatitis B or any other infectious diseases in your lab environment.


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