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Sharp Sense: Promoting the safety of health care workers

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Healthcare workers face the risk every day of exposure to bloodborne pathogens because of needlestick injuries. In this short video, a nurse, an HIV/AIDS counsellor and an HIV/AIDS physician share their personal experiences with needlestick injuries. This program stresses basic protection and prevention, personal coping with needlestick injuries, and management of potential risk with post-exposure prophylaxis. It underscores the importance of occupational health and safety interventions by health worker trade unions and hospital management. The protection offered by safety-engineered devices such as retractable needles is highlighted, notably because of the possibility of eliminating needlestick injuries through their widespread introduction.

The "Sharp Sense" series of videos was produced by Public Services International with partial support from the PSI-affiliated unions ST and VISION of Sweden and JHL of Finland, and LO-TCO Bistandsnamnd and SASK, the international cooperation organisations of the Swedish and Finnish trade union movements.

We thank the staff and patients at Far East Rand, Germiston and Pelonomi Hospitals, PSI South African affiliates HOSPERSA, DENOSA and NEHAWU, PSI South Africa, and the World Health Organization.

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