5070.0 Health and Safety for Home Health Care Workers

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 8:30 AM
Homecare workers (HCWs), who provide routine personal care services and housekeeping to elderly, disabled or ill individuals, constitute one of the fastest growing occupational groups. According to the 2000 Census, homecare workers are 90% women, half minorities, and one quarter speak a language other than English at home. They are also low-wage and low-status workers. Given the less standardized, predictable, or controllable work settings, homecare is also one of the occupations with the highest occupational injury rate. Therefore, health and safety research with homecare workers is particularly needed and requires innovative approaches to identify risks and develop interventions and public policies. Over the past few years, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has funded several research projects to address home health care safety and health. These projects were aimed at assessing the role of workplace exposures on mental health, documenting and preventing exposures to blood-borne pathogens; and developing linguistically and culturally appropriate intervention materials and programs. This session will present the main findings and the lessons learned from several of these projects. These studies identified a range of serious occupational hazards among home healthcare workers, including sharp injuries, blood/body fluid exposures, and back injuries. They also highlighted the importance of developing risk reduction strategies, safety interventions and social marketing messages to specifically address health and safety concerns. This session will help us better understand health and safety issues related to HCWs as a unique worker population.
Session Objectives: Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to: * Identify the three unique characteristics of home healthcare workers and the challenges of research on this population. * Describe four of the main occupational hazards for homecare workers. * Explain the approaches and stages for developing health and safety interventions and social marketing for homecare workers.

8:30 AM
Using participatory methods to develop intervention programs and social marketing for homecare workers
Linda Ayala, MPH, Sherry L. Baron, MD MPH, Laura Stock, MPH and Fang Gong, PhD
8:45 AM
Occupational injuries in home healthcare workers
Robyn R.M. Gershon, DrPH, Martin F. Sherman, PhD, Stephanie Samar, BA, Allison N. Canton, BA and Marc R. Damsky, MPH
9:00 AM
Risk factors for percutaneous injuries in home healthcare registered nurses
Robyn R.M. Gershon, DrPH, Kristine Qureshi, RN, CEN, APHN, DNSc, Martin F. Sherman, PhD, Patricia W. Stone, PhD, MPH, Allison N. Canton, BA and Stephanie Samar, BA
9:15 AM
Risk of sharps injuries and blood exposures among home health care workers
Margaret M. Quinn, ScD, CIH, Pia K. Markkanen, ScD, Catherine Galligan, MSc, Stephanie Chalupka, EdD, PHNCNS-BC, Hyun Kim, MS, Rebecca Gore, PhD, Susan Sama, ScD, RN, David Kriebel, ScD, Angela K. Laramie, MPH and Letitia Davis, ScD
9:30 AM
Personal Care Assistants: Should they be covered by the Blood Borne Pathogen (BBP) standard?
Jane Lipscomb, PhD, RN, Shakirudeen Amuwo, MPH, Kate McPhaul, PhD, MPH, RN, D. Paxson Barker, RN, BS and Rosemary K. Sokas, MD,MOH, MSc

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Occupational Health and Safety
Endorsed by: Gerontological Health, Public Health Nursing, Socialist Caucus, School Health Education and Services

CE Credits: CME, Health Education (CHES), Nursing