At work we use a sharp tool called a tenaculum to hold the cervix in place during colposcopies and abortions, and today I accidentally poked myself in the pinky with a used one with blood on it, and it went through my gloves and drew blood.
Because the tenaculum had come from a sink full of used tools that I was preparing to clean and autoclave, we have no idea which patient it came from. Thankfully, none of our patients today are know n to be HIV positive and none of them have an admitted history of intravenous drug use. We filed an incident report and did a blood draw today to test for HIV and Hep C so we have proof in case of a worst case scenario that I was negative for both when the accident happened, and we'll do another in three months.
Only .5% of Americans are infected with HIV, and 1.8% have hepatitis C. The chances of the blood on that tenaculum having either virus is suuuuuper slim. Statistically, I don't have much reason to worry.
As much as I know this, I'm a bit shaken up and today was completely draining. I'm freaked out and also disappointed in myself for what I thought was blatant carelessness, but my co-workers admitted to me that pretty much all of them have done the same thing at some point in their careers in healthcare. So I don't feel like as much of a clumsy dummy, which is good, but I'm still bummed out.
Here's hoping that the nervousness passes and the next few months until the re-test pass quickly, and that the odds are my friend.