New York University - College of Dentistry
Home The College Research Academic Programs Library/Resources Continuing Education Community Outreach International Programs
Click to View Virtual Tour

 > Bloodborne Pathogens Policy

Bloodborne Pathogens Policy

Bloodborne Pathogens Policy

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 continues 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).

HBV Immunization:

Immunization for HBV is available and is recommended for all College of Dentistry employees and is mandatory for all students.

HIV Testing:

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/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.

Confidentiality:

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/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 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