MRSA screening of students before performing intimate procedures
The Student Health Service´s occupational health nurses inform students collectively of the MRSA-screening procedures given in the recommendations of the National Board of Health and Welfare and the Stockholm County Council ahead of their first training period involving intimate procedures. Overseas exchange students receive written information on MRSA sampling before studies involving clinical training, as do Swedish students before doing their training abroad. MRSA screening does not apply to students engaged only in auscultation and who therefore do not engage in intimate procedures.
The Student Health Service´s occupational health nurses carry out MRSA screening:
- if the student has been in contact with a healthcare institution outside Sweden, either as a patient or as a member of the medical staff carrying out intimate procedures on patients, in the past six months,
- if the student has been in contact with a healthcare institution in Sweden where there is a documented outbreak of MRSA, either as a patient or as a member of the medical staff carrying out intimate procedures on patients, in the past six months,
- if the student has been in close contact with an MRSA carrier, e.g. as a member of the person's household or family,
- if the student has cuts, eczema or other skin lesions.
Students with individual risk factors (cuts, eczema or other skin lesions) are prohibited from taking part in any training involving intimate procedures pending the results of their screening, but may carry out procedures that do not involve intimate contact with patients.
Students without individual risk factors may take part in training involving intimate procedures pending the results of their screening, with the exception of training that takes place at the risk unit; i.e. where healthcare entails a serious risk of infection and where the patients are particularly susceptible.
In the event of a positive MRSA screening result, the Student Health Service has responsibility for taking a second test and referring the student to the MRSA team at the Karolinska University Hospital Infection Clinic for information and further attention. The doctor at the Student Health Service who takes the decision to carry out the test and who receives the results is required by the Swedish Communicable Disease Act to file a report. In the event of confirmed MRSA contagion, the information obligation contained in the Act applies. This always requires the consent of the MRSA carrier.
The Student Health Service offers the affected student professional psychosocial support.
The leader of the training programme can always turn to the MRSA team/the Stockholm County Council Hospital Hygiene and Infection Control Unit (Vårdhygien) or the Student Health Service for further information.
The Student Health Service's occupational health nurses perform MRSA screening by appointment. Appointments are made by phone well in advance of the clinical training period as it can take up to a week for the results to come through.
Rekommendationer för handläggning av personal inom vård och omsorg avseende MRSA, National Board of Health and Welfare (2007)
Direktiv för handläggning av personal avseende MRSA, Stockholm County Council (2008)