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Regulated Medical Waste Management

Course Number: 498

Education and Training

The creation and maintenance of a safe work-environment is predicated on the commitment and accountability of all healthcare personnel (HCP). Compliance with Standard and Transmission-based Precautions is significantly improved if HCP understand the rationale for written policies and practices. Participation in an education and training program is mandated prior to initial assignment of HCP to tasks in which exposure to blood and OPIM is possible, and annually thereafter.4,8

General objectives of the education and training program are to identify (1) exposure risks, (2) preventive strategies, (3) post-exposure evaluation and follow-up requirements, and (4) administrative controls. The program must reflect current best practice recommendations made by federal, state, and local agencies and professional organizations. Documentation of participation in a training program must be maintained for the most recent 3-year period.4

Training is a critical component of a successful RMW management strategy and should clearly and consistently address information regarding the need for waste segregation, pertinent regulations, health and safety impacts, and cost implications.8 Training related to RMW management must be part of new employee orientation and staff must be re-trained when the definitions of RMW are changed or when policies or procedures are updated or revised.