Medical Assistants And Asepsis

All health care providers continually come into contact with patients who are ill. Some patients have communicable or contagious diseases; others may have a suppressed immune system that does not protect them from infection. In the course of performing your duties as a medical assistant, you will be in contact with blood and body fluids that may be highly infectious. It is of extreme importance to a medical assistant's health and safety as well as the health and safety of your patients be protected.

There are a number of infection control measures that can be used to reduce the transmission of bloodborne and other pathogens. Medical asepsis, also known as infection control, consists of procedures and practices that health care professionals use to prevent the spread of infection. State and federal agencies also have established policies, procedures, and guidelines for health care providers and employers to follow in order to reduce the risk of transmission of infectious diseases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, a division of the United States Public Health Department, is an agency that investigates various diseases in an attempt to control them and makes recommendations on how to prevent the spread of disease. The CDC issued the system of seven isolation categories for patients with infectious diseases; it recommended the guidelines known as universal precautions; and, in 1996, it released standard precautions, which represent the most current and comprehensive approach to infection control.

Two other governmental agencies that serve to regulate the safety of patients and health care workers are the Clinical Laboratory Amendments of 1988 (CLIA '88) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). CLIA '88 comes under the aegis, or protection of asepsis and of the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of the federal government. OSHA comes under the United States Department of Labor. Both agencies require that health care settings, including clinical laboratories, adhere to the strict regulations that they set forth.

The purpose of CLIA '88 is to safeguard the public by regulating all testing of specimens taken from the human body. The purpose of OSHA is to require employers to ensure employee safety in regard to occupational exposure to potentially harmful substances. This also applies for medical assistants asepsis regarding the topic of Medical asepsis.