Student Fluid Exposure Policy

Policy Manual


The purpose of this policy is to inform students, medical providers, faculty, and affiliated hospitals and clinics of their responsibilities and required procedures for students to complete following a bodily fluid exposure.

Medical students and physicians are potentially exposed to patients with infectious disease. All medical students will be educated and trained to prevent or reduce exposure to infectious and environmental hazards. For this reason, procedures exist to inform students of potential risk and teach them techniques and procedures designed to decrease or avoid exposure.

Who Needs to Know this Policy?

UNR Med medical students, visiting medical students, medical providers, faculty, residents, staff and affiliated hospitals and clinics.


It is the policy of the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) to:

  1. Provide education to our students to help prevent exposures
  2. Provide clear procedures to address these events when they occur
  3. Make the procedural information easy to access

Responsibilities & Procedures


  1. OSHA Training: Students are introduced to the concept of infection control and work-related exposure during their first year of medical school during a mandatory online training. Education and training regarding exposures is updated annually throughout medical school. Students must complete training each year and be certified to continue patient care activities. Student enrollment may be affected if training is not completed in a timely manner. As a result of this training, students are expected to understand and comply with the following procedures:
    1. Universal precautions
    2. Needle/sharp safety
    3. Use of protective equipment
    4. Isolation guidelines

Six-Step Procedure for Initial Student Exposure

Student Responsibilities
  1. Remove soiled clothing and wash the exposed areas with soap and water
  2. Immediately report the exposure to the attending physician and resident.
  3. Call the UNR Student Health Center at (775) 784-6598 to report the exposure and receive further instructions. If SHC is closed proceed to Step 4.
  4. Seek immediate evaluation unless instructed to do so otherwise in Step 3
    1. Reno
      1. Immediately seek evaluation at the UNR Student Health Center if open, or in the Emergency Department of the facility where the exposure occurred
    2. Las Vegas
      1. Immediately seek evaluation in the Emergency Department of the facility where the exposure occurred or the Emergency Department of University Medical Center
    3. Other Locations
      1. Immediately seek evaluation in the Emergency Department of the facility where the exposure occurred or the nearest Emergency Department
      2. For away electives, follow the procedures of the host institution.
  5. Report the exposure to the UNR Student Health Center at (775) 784-6598 and complete the Incident Report.
  6. Report the exposure to the Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs within 24 hours.

**Advise facility that you are not an employee and they should not file a workers compensation report**

Faculty/Resident Responsibilities
  1. Faculty will direct students to the appropriate facility per this policy.
  2. Any faculty member or resident physician who is informed by a student of an exposure must report this exposure to the Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs within 24 hours.
  3. The Associate Dean for Admissions and Students Affairs will communicate with the clinical site where the exposure occurred to ensure the site-specific procedures following a fluid exposure are aligned with the UNR Med procedures.

General Guidelines and Information – Exposure and Treatment Follow-Up

  • Fees associated with the testing and treatment are covered by the UNR Med Student Health Insurance. Students who choose to waive the UNR Med sponsored student health insurance plan will be covered per their personal plan's benefits, and may have additional expenses related to exposures.
  • Students who desire counseling should contact the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs.
  • Follow-up laboratory studies will be directed and monitored by the UNR Student Health Center. Therefore, copies of the test results must be forwarded to the UNR Student Health Center who will maintain these records and send reminders for follow up.
  • The Student Health Center will maintain exposure information kept in a secure location with restricted access.
  • Students who have failed to send the proper documentation of laboratory or other follow-up treatment will receive a reminder email. If there is no response to the reminder email, a certified letter will be sent to the student reminding him/her of the importance of follow-up. If there is no response to the certified letter, no further attempts will be made to contact the student. The student will then be responsible for any further care.

Approval Signatures

Approving Agent

  • Print Name: Timothy Baker
  • Title: Associate Dean for Medical Education
  • Date: 9/20/17

Approving Agent (OPTIONAL)

  • Print Name: Cherie Singer
  • Title: Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs
  • Date:

Legal Counsel

  • Print Name: Matthew Milone
  • Title: Senior Associate Dean for Legal Affairs
  • Date:

UNR Med Dean or Designate

  • Print Name: Thomas Schwenk
  • Title: Dean, School of Medicine
  • Date: