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Bloodborne Pathogens Test - What You Need to Know

Nowadays, people have multiple occupations that may be considered hazardous to their health, requiring a bloodborne pathogens test. And if there's anything that the COVID-19 pandemic taught us, it's that infectious materials such as a virus can travel very fast. 

Not only do these pathogens pass through bodily fluids, but also through actual blood. But what exactly are bloodborne pathogens, and why should this matter to you? Why would you need bloodborne pathogens training? Well, you are about to find out.

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What Are Bloodborne Pathogens?

Bloodborne pathogens are contaminants that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Looking at a few droplets of blood or other bodily fluids, you may not be able to tell whether they contain infectious materials or not. 

This is why exposure control is necessary when you are dealing with samples of blood that may be potentially contaminated. Other fluids such as saliva, vaginal secretions, semen, pleural fluid and pericardial fluid can also be contaminated. 

If a test shows that there are pathogens in the blood, then the disease might be contagious. Once the virus spreads from one individual to another upon contact, it can easily multiply. 

There are many diseases and bloodborne pathogens that may infect a person. Some remain in the body, others may be cured. Among the most difficult pathogens to remove are Hepatitis B,   HIV, Hepatitis C, West Nile Virus, and Syphilis.

How Do You Become Exposed to Bloodborne Pathogens?

Bloodborne pathogen exposure may occur in various ways. Direct exposure to the infected person may spread the infection, but indirect exposure can also be risky. 

A mere break or opening in the skin will allow the virus to enter the organism. Cuts, scrapes, burns and rashes may increase the risk of exposure. 

Other bodily openings such as the nose, eyes, and mouth can also create a path for the pathogens to enter the body. Once they enter, the infectious materials will spread and the transmission risk will increase.

Why Should You Get Training for Bloodborne Pathogens?

If you work in an environment with a high chance of exposure, then you must meet the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements. People in these circumstances need a certification to ensure that they can follow OSHA bloodborne pathogens standards.

The bloodborne pathogens standard training course is offered to anyone working in fields such as medicine or dentistry. 

Other fields that may have contact with potentially infected patients or clients will also be included. This means the tattooing fields, makeup artists, or the custodial staff working within a clinic or hospital.

The purpose of this type of training is to provide a safe environment not only for the employees but also for the patients. Whether you are already working or you consider working in these fields, you need to take the bloodborne pathogens test. 

Obtaining your certifications is important, as it proves you adhere to the OSHA bloodborne pathogens standard. Not only will you protect yourself and your clients, but this will also improve your trust level. 

What Is Bloodborne Certification?

The Bloodborne certification is proof that you know how pathogens are spread and how you can avoid being exposed to them. Before someone receives BBP certification, they will have to go through a bloodborne pathogens training course. 

At the end of the course, they will receive their official Bloodborne Certificate. This certificate will have a one-year validity, and the people taking the test would have to review it once the validity is over. 

Depending on the circumstances, some people may have to undergo training once more. As the course may receive updates, people would also need to review their knowledge.

What Is Included in the Training?

Before you take the actual bloodborne pathogens test for your certification, you need to go through a bloodborne pathogens training course. This training will help you learn more about the pathogens, as well as the risk they may pose to your health.

The training course will teach you about various diseases such as Hepatitis B or HIV that can send infectious pathogens through your blood or body fluids. It will also teach you about how you can prevent exposure. 

By understanding how this happens, you will be able to practice precaution. Various control methods will be taught in order to limit transmission risk. The training will also include the equipment necessary to protect your health against disease. 

Course Objectives of BBP Training Courses

Whether you go for a free course or a paid course, bloodborne pathogen training will go through several sections, including: 

  • The importance of the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard
  • Cross-contamination and how a virus may spread
  • Medical and health issues associated with the industry
  • Bloodborne pathogens and selected communicable diseases: how they spread, how long they take to incubate in the body, and many more
  • Minimum safety and sanitary requirements for environment precautions
  • Available PPE and Standard Precautions for the prevention of disease transmission
  • Steps to take after being exposed to a pathogen. 
Each course and examination is different, which is why it is essential to research the testing company. Make sure that they work in accordance with the OSHA standards.

How Many Questions Is the Bloodborne Pathogens Test?

The OSHA bloodborne pathogens test (BBP) consists of a total of 10 questions, derived from a handbook provided during the BBP training course. The questions are placed in multiple-choice answer style, with the examinee selecting the correct provided answer.

It tackles a variety of topics, such as how to dispose of a potentially-contaminated needle, who is responsible for the control and exposure prevention, and what personal protective equipment should be used in order to prevent exposure.

It can also cover the diseases for which you may ask a vaccine, in the event of exposure to bloodborne pathogens.

The test may take various forms depending on the course, but all questions will be from the handbook. These questions must be answered over the course of one hour.

How Do You Test for Bloodborne Pathogens?

The most efficient way to test for bloodborne pathogens is to get a blood test. Each virus will have a blood test of its own, which will tell you the stage of your infection.

Depending on the bloodborne pathogen, different testing measures may be used.

HIV

The first step for testing HIV is to take an antibody test, which will check your immune system's response to the virus. If it's positive, it means you are infected, and a CD4 count may be taken in order to calculate the viral load.

Hepatitis C

Similar to HIV, hepatitis C will also use an antibody test first, to test for the BBP. If the test is positive, then a PCR rest will be required to see if you still have the active virus in your system. If the antibody test is positive but the PCR test is negative, then it means you were exposed, but no longer have an active infection. 

Hepatitis B

Blood tests will be necessary to see if you have antibodies trying to fight off the virus. Other medical markers can also tell you whether there is an active bloodborne virus in your system or not. 

Why Should You Test for Bloodborne Pathogens?

There are various reasons why one should test for bloodborne pathogens. If left untreated, the disease can cause serious damage to your health - sometimes, this can prove fatal. 

In some cases, especially in the early stage of the infection, the people may not realize that they are actually infected. Since they do not control the spread of the virus through their body, this can impede the treatment. 

Transmission may also occur easier through asymptomatic individuals, which is why testing is encouraged. Not only will it prevent the pathogen from wreaking havoc through the body, but it will also help contain the infection.

It is also important to remember that, depending on the virus, it may take a long time in order for the pathogen to show up in the body. HIV may show in around 12 weeks, whereas Hepatitis (whether it's C or B) can take 3-6 months. Regular testing is essential in high-risk environments, as it can help with prevention and control. 

Benefits of Online Bloodborne Pathogen Testing

There are multiple ways to get your bloodborne pathogens certification. Some may involve going to a physical point, attending a paid course, and earning your certificate. However, with many people's busy lifestyles, it may be rather difficult to get your certification this way.

An online course is much more convenient, as you can practice with the questions before you get your certification. The official OSHA BBP training page will offer you free online testing, along with the possibility to buy the certification.

Taking the online training course can also help you understand bloodborne pathogens. Even if you have yet to get your bloodborne certification, the training course will offer you the information that you need. 

This way, you can maintain your health and control the environment, protecting against the spread of pathogens.

Overall, taking an online course may have the following benefits:

  • You will be able to work at your own pace
  • You can start the course whenever you want, without waiting on someone else's schedule
  • You will get access to interactive and engaging courses that benefit your learning style.
  • You will have free access to the courses once you have completed them. 
There are multiple places where you can find classes on disease prevention, but it is recommended to go to OSHA for official information. 

Final Thoughts

Bloodborne pathogens can be a hazard to anyone's safety. For this reason, both the employer and the employees require education on how to control the spread of a pathogen. The Bloodborne Certification can help improve the safety of those related to your business and personal life.