Publications > Academic Bulletin > General Information > Policy on Bloodborne Pathogens
Policy on Bloodborne Pathogens
New York University College of Dentistry is committed to addressing issues
related to bloodborne pathogens, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV),
hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV), in a spirit of cooperation,
compassion, flexibility, and sensitivity to individual needs as well as
to community welfare. The purpose of this policy is to minimize the risk
of transmission of a bloodborne pathogen from an infected health care worker
or student to a patient. Under New York State regulations, a licensed health
care institution is responsible for ensuring that its health care workers
do not have any physical impairments resulting from infection by bloodborne
pathogens that would interfere with the performance of their clinical responsibilities
or create a health risk for patients.
The College of Dentistry recognizes that knowledge and information about bloodborne
pathogens continue to change. This policy, therefore, will be reviewed by the
New York University College of Dentistry Bloodborne Pathogens Policy Committee
annually, and changes will be recommended as appropriate.
Admissions and Employment
Discrimination against employees, students, and applicants for admission or employment
based solely on health status is unlawful.
Infection Control Procedures
All health care workers and students are required to follow “Universal/Standard
Precautions,” which is the basis of the practices and procedures set forth
in the College of Dentistry’s Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure Control Program
(available on file).
Immunization for HBV is available and is recommended for all College of Dentistry
employees and is mandatory for all students.
Testing of health care workers and students for HIV is not required by the College
of Dentistry. However, health care workers and students who perform invasive
or exposure-prone procedures on patients are encouraged to be tested voluntarily
in order to know their HIV status.
Obligation to Report
A health care worker or student who is infected with HIV, HBV, HCV, or another
bloodborne pathogen is encouraged to report his or her status to the College
of Dentistry’s associate dean for clinical affairs or his designee. A health
care worker or a student who is infected with HIV, HBV, HCV, or another bloodborne
pathogen is not required to inform patients.
All information concerning the health status of a health care worker or student
infected by a bloodborne pathogen shall be disclosed only in accordance with
applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations, including Article
27-f of the New York State Public Health Law and its regulations concerning HIV-
and AIDS-related Information.
Limitation of Activity
Each health care worker or student infected with HIV or another bloodborne pathogen
shall have his or her clinical practices evaluated by a panel established by
the College of Dentistry. The evaluation shall be confidential. At the request
of the student or health care worker, the evaluation will be completed anonymously
based on information presented to the panel by the associate dean of clinical
affairs or his designee. The panel will provide timely advice and consultation
concerning the student’s or health care worker’s clinical practices.
The panel may recommend practice limitations or modifications where evidence
suggests that there is a significant risk to the health of a patient or to the
health of the infected health care worker or student. The panel’s determinations
may take into account the nature of the clinical activity, the technical expertise
of the infected individual, the risk of transmission, and the infected individual’s
impairments. Recommendations by the panel shall be based on criteria established
by the New York State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention. The panel will continue to periodically review the practices
of any health care worker or student who has been evaluated by the panel.
In completing its evaluation of an infected health care worker or student, the
panel shall include or consult with the following:
- a public health professional
- an infectious disease expert
- an infection control expert
- the individual’s private physician
- a dentist with expertise in the procedures (to be) engaged
in by the infected student or employee
- a dental student (if a student is the subject of evaluation)
- a New York University or College of Dentistry administrator
Enforcement of Practice Limitations or Modifications
Any student or health care worker who engages in unsafe and/or
careless clinical practices, which create risks to the health
of patients, employees, or students at the College of Dentistry,
shall be subject to disciplinary action under the rules of
the University and the College of Dentistry. When such actions
are brought to the attention of the College of Dentistry
administration, the student or health care worker may be
suspended immediately from all patient care activities pending
a full investigation of the matter. Other sanctions may be
imposed by state licensing agencies.
Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens
Health care workers or students who are exposed to a bloodborne
pathogen in the course of their work at the College of Dentistry
are expected to follow the procedures set forth in the College
of Dentistry’s Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure Control Program.
Patients who have been exposed to bloodborne pathogens while
being treated at the clinic shall be offered free counseling
and testing. Results from such testing shall be disclosed only
in accordance with applicable federal and state laws.
Reviewed and Updated, October 2010
Office of Clinical Affairs
New York University College of Dentistry