Naomi, nursing, needlestick and sharps injuries

Meet Naomi - nurse, single and super mum

Blood borne virus exposure insurance for nurses and doctors

Naomi is an experienced accident and emergency nurse with more than 5 years experience working in the surgical wards and in and around potentially dangerous medical workspaces.

She is used to managing chaos and moody teenagers; she has two of her own she's hoping to put into private school next year for their senior years before they hopefully go to university.

As a recently single mum, the family budget is tight so maintaining her regular shift work, penalties and allowances is an important part of providing a stable home environment.

Even with the best contaminated sharps training ...

Like all medical and emergency professionals, she’s completed the mandatory training in sharps best practice and she is aware of the dangers that contaminated needles and shapes injuries cause in the workplace.

Recent Australian statistics record over 18,000 needle stick and shares injuries are reported in each year with a staggering additional 50% of injuries going unreported.

Medical professionals and those front line emergency service workers need speciality Blood Borne Virus insurance that can pay them up to $1,0000,000, if in the normal course of their job they contract a bloodborne virus like Hepatitis B (HBV) or Hepatitis C (HVC) or even HIV.

It happens to 18,000 Australian medical staff each year

One late afternoon shift, while assisting an emergency patient suffering a seizure, Naomi’s worst fear occurred - she suffered a needlestick injury in the workplace.

At that precise moment, the full effect of what happened didn’t really register.  She just continued to care for the patient.  She told herself ‘he looked healthy enough, it’s just an accident, not a problem.’ A few minutes later, the full impact of the event hit home and Naomi’s world changed.

Immediately the occupational nurse attended the ward and took a baseline blood sample from Naomi.  So begun the process of personal blood tests, emergency medication and the difficult wait to see if Naomi had contracted a blood borne virus from the workplace.

She was required to inform her professional membership organisation about the injury and it wasn’t until she went home did the isolating reality of the accident began to sink in.

Don't panic, you've been training for this haven't you?

Rather than letting  the panic of the unknown take over, Naomi calmed herself and remembered that she’d been trained for this type of situation and she’d also previously set up her own backup plan, just in case the worst happened. Many frightening thoughts wandered through her mind over the coming weeks while awaiting results, but fears about financial security wasn't one of them.

Insurance - an unusual graduation gift from mum

When Naomi graduated with her nursing degree, her mother sent her the link to unusualrisks.com.au the Australian blood borne virus experts. Naomi’s mother, old school and infinitely practical, actually offered to pay the first year's insurance premiums for her blood borne virus insurance cover as a graduation gift.  She said it was ‘a better investment than yet another nurse's watch.

Think of it like a uniform work expense

Naomi liked the idea of having her own professional insurance adviser who understood the special needs of medical professionals like her.  After learning more about her options from their website and a helpful phone call or two, she took out a life insurance policy for herself and at the same time, decided to protect her future self with the blood-borne virus insurance too.

She’s actually updated the amount of her cover each year when her income increased. She simply saw it as a necessary workplace expenses, like a uniform.

The results

At 3 months after the accident, the blood test result came back negative and at 5 months the results came back as inconclusive. Her financial adviser checks in regularly and she knows he’s there, ready and able to walk her through the insurance claims process if it's ever needed.

Naomi still has some time to wait but the runaway fear of the possible life changing results is kept in check by the certainty that her backup plan, has her back, if she needs it.


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