Bloodborne Pathogen Policy

Bloodborne Pathogen Policy 

It is the policy of Hostos Community College of the City University of New York to maintain a safe environment for its faculty, staff, students and visitors that will not subject them to an avoidable risk of injury or illness.  The applicable health, safety and environmental standards are contain in the rules and regulations promulgated by Federal, State, and City agencies, which must be followed in establishing campus safely policies.  In addition, the published standards of nationally recognized professional health and safety organizations serve as guidelines in areas not covered by government standards, rules and expectations.

The dental hygiene program at Hostos Community College complies with current infection control policies and is committed to addressing issues related to bloodborne pathogens, such as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) and other viruses and bacteria that colonize or infect the oral cavity and respiratory tract.  The Hostos Community College Dental Hygiene Patient Care Facility is a safe and poses no significant risk of contracting bloodborne diseases through the provision of dental treatment when appropriate infection procedures are followed.  The purpose of the Bloodborne Pathogen Policy and Exposure Control Plan is to minimize the risk of transmission of bloodborne pathogens and to environmental hazards.   Every student is expected to apply standard precautions with every patient such as but not limited to handwashing, use of protective barriers, care in the use and disposal of needles or other sharp instruments and use of sterilization and disinfection methods for maintaining instruments and working surfaces which will not harbor the transmission of pathogens.

This policy on Bloodborne Pathogens is made available to all prospective students, patients, and employees through the college website, reception area in Patient Care Facility, the Dental Hygiene Program Clinical Manual, and Student Handbook and Policy Manual.   In addition, The Patient Consent Form and the Patient’s Bill of Rights alert the patient of bloodborne pathogens in the facility.

Prospective Students/Employees

The Dental Hygiene Program at Hostos Community College does not discriminate against employees, students, and applicants for admission or patients based solely on health status.  


The risk of exposure to Hepatitis B Virus is high for Dental Health Care Providers therefore, it is recommended that students start the vaccination process for Hepatitis B as soon as they receive acceptance into the program.  If a vaccination series for Hepatitis B has been completed in the past, a Hepatitis B titer must be completed showing immunity.  


All information regarding the health status of an individual is confidential and protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1994 and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.  All information regarding the health status is confidential and is considered protected health information.  The program requires all faculty, staff and students to maintain strict confidentiality of a patient’s bloodborne pathogen status and all medical conditions.  

Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens

A dental hygiene student, faculty or staff exposed to a bloodborne pathogen while treating a patient or handling instruments at the Hostos Community College Dental Hygiene Patient Care Facility is expected to follow the Post-Exposure Evaluation and Follow-up guidelines described in the college’s Exposure Control Plan, found in the dental hygiene program’s Clinic Manual.

Referral for Medical Evaluation

Faculty and students should be alert to signs and symptoms of bloodborne diseases that may be identified during provision of dental care.  Patients with medical histories or conditions possibly indicative of infection should be referred to their physicians for diagnostic procedures, counseling and medical follow-up.  The program relies on the expertise of faculty members to exercise his or her best professional judgment, based on current and generally accepted scientific knowledge and the ethics of the profession, in all situations regarding when and how to treat and whether to refer each patient.

Bloodborne Pathogen and Infection Control Training

The Dental Hygiene Program complies with all local, state and federal control policies including the application of Standard Precautions.  Written policies and instruction on infection control protocol is provided in courses throughout the curriculum.   Compliance of safety practices is also evaluated throughout the students’ clinical experience to ensure a safe educational and work environment.