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(Worried student) Speech Pathology Clinical Placement

Discussion in 'Speech Pathology [ Ph.D. ]' started by Wos, Jun 10, 2017.

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  1. Wos


    Jun 10, 2017
    Hello to all the helpful people that will read this and take the time to answer.

    This is my first post so I apologise if it is in the wrong place.

    I am a Speech and Language Pathology student who is currently undergoing a block of clinical placements/rotations.

    Query: Yesterday when I was carrying out an observation of a severely low-functioning client with ASD, the client suddenly scratched me extremely hard on my forehead and I bled slightly (I know that is it not her fault and she doesn't understand). Upon bringing this to my clinical supervisor's attention, I was told that the client had just scratched two people minutes before I arrived as well. Her hands had not been cleaned after as they spent time cleaning the other people's wounds. The patient who scratched me also went on to scratch another patient during the observation ended which resulted in her being restrained and separated from the group.

    It may sound far-fetched but I am very worried about possible blood borne exposure to HIV or HCV as a result. I do not know the status of the patient or the other people she had scratched moments before she scratched and broke my skin slightly. It sounds very likely that she had fresh blood under her fingernails.

    Update: The following day I can feel two swollen lymph nodes in my neck. I am freaking out.

    Question: I understand that this incident does not warrant the same fear as a nurse/doctor being exposed to a needlestick injury, but do you think PEP medication might still be a sensible option? I was told not to worry, but I am still concerned.

    Thanks in advance.
    Extremely worried student
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  3. Pseudonymous101

    Pseudonymous101 Rehab Sciences Professional/MD reapplicant 7+ Year Member

    Oct 19, 2008
    It is extremely unlikely you contracted anything serious this way but if you are concerned I'd make a doctor's appointment and get tested.

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