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Question 9: A nurse experiences a needle stick from an IM injection that was just administered to a client who is positive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). What would be the best nursing action?

  1. Report the needle stick to the local public health department and inform any sexual contacts.
  2. Notify the employee health center and report the circumstances regarding the needle stick.
  3. Contact the personal physician to determine the risk factor for seroconversion and medications to prevent seroconversion.
  4. Notify the unit manager and ask for advice regarding to whom, if anyone, you should report the incident.

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2. The employee health center should be notified of any needle stick or other exposure to infections, diseases, or conditions. Circumstances surrounding the incident will determine if any prophylactic treatment must be initiated. Reporting to the local public health department and notifying sexual contacts are not necessary at this point. The personal physician can be contacted, but the employee health center must still be notified. The unit manager should be notified, but the priority is to notify the employee health center.