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Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders

Universal Precautions and Preventing Illness

Universal Precautions refers to an approach to infection control where everyone assumes all bodily fluids--including personal body fluids-- contain infection and could potentially harm others.  With this perspective, we do all we can to limit exposure of body fluids, for our own health and for the health of our clients.


Bloodborne Pathogens Training

Before participating in practicum through the CSD Department, students must complete the University of Minnesota Bloodborne Pathogens Training. This is an on-line course that takes about an hour to complete. After completing the course, students should submit a record of completion to the CSD Department. 


Direct Care Provider Precautions

  • Wear gloves: All student, staff, and faculty personnel in direct client contact should not perform any invasive procedure without the protection of universal precautions and gloves.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Use disposable tissue and throw it away after single use. Alternatively, cough or sneeze into your elbow instead of your bare hand. Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth to minimize spread of germs.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Alcohol-based sanitizers may be used if soap and water are not available.
  • Immunizations: The University of Minnesota student admissions policies regarding immunizations are sufficient for student participation in practica at the RFP Clinic.
  • If you are sick, stay home.
    • Viral Illness: If you have symptoms of viral illness (e.g., influenza) illness, stay home until you have been fever-free for 24 hours.
    • Bacterial Infections: Any student, staff, and faculty personnel may not provide direction clinic services while having a bacterial infection (e.g., Strep throat) until they have clearance from their physician.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people. Advise clients to stay home if they are sick. If you have an ill household member, you can participate in the clinic, but monitor your health every day and stay home if you become ill.
  • Protect your clients. Many clients who receive services at the RFP Clinic may be medically fragile. Interns are advised to consult with their clinic instructors regarding their assigned clients' needs.


Hand Washing
Handwashing is the single most important way for keeping yourself and others healthy per the Centers for Disease Control.

All personnel must wash hands:

  • before beginning work
  • before and after eating
  • after using the bathroom
  • after blowing their nose or coughing
  • after each patient contact
  • before and after removing gloves

Hand washing protocol:

  • Turn on the faucet.
  • Use continuous running water
  • Wet hands.
  • Apply soap.
  • Lather hands, wrists, forearms.
  • Rub vigorously for 30 seconds, paying particular attention to fingers and nails.
  • Rinse thoroughly.
  • Dry thoroughly with a paper towel.
  • Using a second paper towel, turn off the faucet.

For more information, watch "Put Your Hands Together" by the Centers for Disease Control.


Glove Wearing Procedures
Wear gloves if contact with body fluids is anticipated.
Some clients, students, or clinic personnel may be allergic to latex gloves. Vinyl gloves also are available for use. Check the Client Enrollment form in the client´s chart for information regarding allergies.
All students, staff and faculty must wear gloves and use sterile wrapped tongue blades to perform oral mechanism examinations. Dispose of the gloves and tongue blades immediately after use.
If the client has non-contact skin or open cuts, sores, or scratches, personnel must wear gloves during entire therapy or diagnostic session.
Hand washing procedures must be followed immediately before and after wearing gloves.
Change gloves with each new client contact.

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Last modified on 10/29/14 10:56 AM
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