Infection Control
Contagious Condition Policy
Accident/Injury
Emergency Management

Infection Control

The goal in establishing an infection control program is to prevent the spread of germs between client and clinician and to prevent the spread of germs environmentally via materials and equipment.

Infection control is regulated by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). Anyone involved in clinic must follow infection control policies.

Exposure Classification

  • Category 1: employees who have frequent contact with blood and body fluids. Risk of exposure is high.
  • Category 2: employees who have less frequent exposure to blood and body fluids. Risk of exposure is moderate.
  • Category 3: employees who do not come in contact with blood or body fluids. Risk of exposure is minimal.

Employees who engage in the delivery of clinical services at the Speech and Hearing Center qualify as Category 2 and include student clinicians and clinical supervisors. Office staff and faculty who are not involved in clinical activities qualify as Category 3.

HBV

OSHA recommends that Category 1 and 2 employees consider a Hepatitis B vaccination. Students who choose to have the vaccination can do so through their private physician or the University of Alabama Medical Center.

Training

Discussion of infection control will take place during New Student Orientation. Students will be given a written copy of the policy at that time.

Post-Exposure Management

Episodes of exposure to an infectious condition will be documented and kept on file at the Speech and Hearing Center. The individual will be referred to Student Health Services or his/her private physician for treatment. Procedures described in the attached Emergency Management Plan will be followed in the event of exposure, accident, injury, or illness.

Infection Control Products Available

Soap is available in the restrooms and most therapy rooms. Antimicrobial spray and wipes and waterless hand cleanser are kept in the resource room, staff room, preschool rooms, audiology clinic, therapy rooms, and office. These supplies are available for use in other areas upon request. Products can be taken to off-campus sites as needed.

Hand Washing

Wash your hands before and after each client. Wash your hands after using the bathroom. Use soap and water or waterless hand cleanser. Use a paper towel to turn off the water. Take waterless hand cleanser with you to off campus sites if hand washing will be difficult.

Note: Keep your hands away from your face, i.e., out of your mouth and away from your nose and eyes.

Gloves

Medical gloves are available for use if a client or clinician has (1) an open skin lesion (2) an ear draining with infection or bloody discharge (3) a runny nose or cough (4) if any signs of illness or infection are present or (5) if blood, vomit, or other body fluid is present. Gloves should be worn when changing diapers, cleaning up vomit or a bathroom accident, or bandaging a wound. Change gloves between clients. Wash hands after removing gloves.

Off-Campus Practicum

Check with your off-campus clinical supervisor regarding infection control procedures for that facility.

Oral-Peripheral Examination

Gloves or finger cots should be worn during oral peripheral examination.

Toys and Therapy Materials

Toys and therapy materials are to be cleaned after each use with soap and water or with an antimicrobial spray or wipe depending on the design and material of the toy. Avoid using toys that cannot be cleaned. Wash your hands after touching toys that a client has handled. A drop box is available in the Resource Room for materials that cannot be cleaned immediately after use.

Surfaces

Chairs, table tops, and any other surfaces that come in contact with people and materials should be cleaned after each use with antimicrobial cleansers or soap and water.

Equipment

Clean equipment, including earphones, visipitch, nasometer, etc., with antimicrobial cleansers after each use. Clinical supervisors will provide instruction on how to clean equipment without damaging it.

Contagious Condition Policy

Speech and Hearing Center students and employees as well as clients should not come to the Center if they have a contagious condition. Individuals who exhibit symptoms after arrival will be sent home. Examples of conditions that could be contagious include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, head lice, rash, impetigo, and chicken pox.

Accident/Injury Policy

Illness, accident, or injury that occurs in the clinic should be reported at once to the clinical supervisor. An injury, such as a cut, scratch, or bite should be dealt with immediately. If bleeding occurs, the person administering care should wear gloves. A wound or lesion should be covered with a band-aid or several layers of gauze. A contaminated area should be covered with paper towels and then cleaned thoroughly. The incident should be reported to a clinical supervisor.

Parents or the caregiver are always informed if an accident or injury occurs. The incident is documented and kept on file in the Speech and Hearing Center office.

Emergency Management Policy

The procedures listed below should be followed in the event of an emergency. If you are with a Speech and Hearing Center client, it is your responsibility to escort the client to safety. Once leaving the building, do not return until given permission by the emergency management team. The UA Police Department can issue a fine for failure to evacuate in response to the alarm system.

These procedures will be covered with students each semester during New Student Orientation and with faculty, clinical supervisors, and staff at the initial Departmental Meeting each fall semester.

In the event of power failure:

  1. Clinicians will remain with clients at all times.
  2. Move to the closest area of natural light.
  3. Get a flashlight if needed from the resource room or office
  4. Report power outage to departmental secretary, who will contact the maintenance department.

In the event of fire or other emergency requiring evacuation:

  1. Clinicians will remain with clients at all times.
  2. Leave the building through the nearest exit
    1. All exits are marked with an Exit sign.
    2. The nearest exit is posted in each room.
  3. Call 911 using a cell phone or phone in the nearest campus building.
  4. Do not return to the building until permission is given by the emergency management team.
  5. Clinical supervisors and office staff will assist student clinicians and clients in contacting family members.
  6. In the event a client must receive medical attention, a clinical supervisor will go to the medical facility and remain until the family has arrived.
  7. Fire extinguishers and fire alarms are available in different locations throughout the building.

In the event of dangerous weather:

  • Clinicians will remain with clients at all times.
  • Be seated in a hallway toward the interior of the building but away from glass doors and windows.
  • Keep the entrances to the area clear to allow access to individuals from other areas of the building.
  • Remain in the area until the weather service terminates the warning.
  • In the event of structural damage or injury call 911.
  • In the event a client must receive medical attention, a clinical supervisor will go to the medical facility and remain until the family has arrived.

In the event of illness, accident or injury:

  • Contact a clinical supervisor or department chair.
  • Call 911 if necessary.
  • If blood or body fluids are present, the person in attendance must follow infection control procedures. Supplies are kept in the Resource Room and Departmental Office.
  • If the injured individual is a minor, the parents or legal guardian should be contacted.
  • If the person is not a minor, family will be contacted upon request, or as otherwise indicated.
  • In the event a client must receive medical attention, a clinical supervisor will go to the medical facility and remain until the family has arrived.
  • If the client is transported for medical treatment by family, the clinical supervisor will follow-up on the client’s condition by telephone.
  • All injuries and accidents are documented on the Injury/Accident/Incident Report Form and filed in the Speech and Hearing Center Emergency Management Notebook.
    • Name of injured person, date, description of incident, management account.
    • The department chair will review each incident.