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Wisconsin: Direct care means hands-on functions
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended flu vaccine for health care workers with direct patient care responsibilities. But what is direct patient care? The state of Wisconsin came up with this guidance:
The definition of health care workers with direct patient care responsibilities is based on these two considerations:
1. risk of transmission in health care settings is greater with prolonged close contact than with short-term, more indirect contact;
2. the ability to use infection control measures for staff not eligible for immunization.
Health care workers with direct patient care are those who perform hands-on patient care or medical procedures that bring them in direct physical contact with a patient.
Such procedures include blood pressure checks, bedpan duty, phlebotomy, bathing, physical examinations, and any other care in which the person "lays hands on a patient." Individuals likely to be in this category are:
Those who are excluded are:
Source: Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services, Madison. Web: www.dhfs.wisconsin.gov/communicable/influenza/pdf_files/Influenzaclarification101504.pdf.