I work in long term care and honestly it is the CNAs in LTC that come in contact with the majority of bodily fluids as the brunt of that sort of patient care is on them. They are the ones changing pts, cleaning up when they vomit, etc
I have come in contact with my fair share of urine, blood, vomit, feces, gastric juice FLOWING from a pegsite as if it was tap water from a faucet, etc. I have given many injections. I have 3 uncles who are living with/dying from Hep C as a result of a single shared needle as teenagers.
I guess my take is this - there are so many nasty things that I *could* get from fluids. Honestly - the other stuff you can catch scares me more than Hep B. Hep B is just one of them. Hep C is worse. HIV is much worse. MRSA, ESLB, VRE, etc are horrible too. I took care of many pt with Hep C, both in nursing school and in LTC. Many pts with MRSA or other nasty super bugs. Protection, prevention, and good handwashing is critical.
Needle sticks are preventable. Do not EVER recap a needle. Most now come with the special little guard that locks up over the needle once used to eliminate the desire/need to recap and dramatically reduce the chance of an accidental stick. NEVER put it in your pocket, etc. Carry it, use it, and discard it into a sharps IMMEDIATELY. In LTC most of the time there is a sharps bin in the room and also on your medcart. In hospitals, there is a sharps in every room. If a pt is agitated or really moving around/jerky - wait. Yes, you are busy but it is safer to wait the few minutes until it can be done safely for you and then - or get assistance if it needs to be done right then and there.
Gloving is a biggie for me. Yes, like someone else said sometimes you go in and there are none left. I solved that little problem by always having a pocketful of extras. One pocket of my scrubs is my extra glove pocket - I carry 2-3 pairs of extra gloves in my pocket and anytime I use a pair, I replace it on my way out the door. Then you are never without gloves. I use gloves for EVERYTHING. Many nurses who have been practicing a while, especially in LTC, get complacent and don't use gloves except for "big stuff". I was horrified to see nurses giving meds via pegsites and doing peg site care without gloves - but it is a regular occurence in many places. I also gown up - even for colonized MRSA. I am not taking any chances. I don't care that it takes extra time, effort and is hot as hades. It is a extra layer of protection.
Plus the problem isn't touching the fluids. Okay so vomit or urine or blood gets on your clothes. Gross, but not going to make you get Hep B or anything else. Now if you have a cut on your leg under those scrubs, okay maybe. If you put your hands in your mouth after touching it, then you are just stupid. This isn't something that simply gets absorbed thru your skin. You must have a cut of some sort or get it into a mucus membrane like eyes, nose, mouth, etc.
I figure that Hep B isn't as common (from my own experience anyway) as Hep C or anything else that I mentioned - I have heard many HCP complain of autoimmune problems after getting the HepB, and I already have a finicky immune system. Plus I was pregnant and then nursing DS. To me, the vax didn't seem necessary or worth the risks. I honestly believe that being aware and proactive in protecting yourself thru your actions makes more of a difference than a vax, especially when there is so much out there that you need to protect yourself from. (it is like the HPV vax instead of teaching kids about safe sex so they don't get HPV or anything else like get pregnant, get HIV, Hep C, clamydia, herpes, etc)
I wash my hands constantly - scrub them like they teach you in school, up to the elbows, under the nails, between the fingers, LOTS of friction to kill everything. I wash a quick soapy rinse to get the uck off, a scrub to kill the germs, and then another quick less detailed scrub to make sure it is "safe clean" as DH calls it. Lotion becomes your best friend. LOL But I wash before and after each pt. I will go thru this process twice before going on breaks or going home, and I won't touch surfaces like doorknobs, etc afterwards.
I am terrified of bringing anything home, especially to my son. I have a coat for work, shoes for work , purse/pump bag - they don't come into my house, they stay out in the hallway. I strip down in our entryway, dump my clothes directly into the washer, and get into the shower to scrub down. My clothes get washed on hot with TTO to kill off anything I may bring home, they are dried, and then hung in their own closet just in case the TTO couldn't kill something. THEN and only then do I kiss my baby and hold him.
As far as passing it to your kids. My 3 uncles all have Hep C, since they were teens. Upon diagnosis, they also tested their families, their past partners, other people my one uncle shared other needles with, etc. None of my aunts got it. None of their kids got it (there's a total of 7 kids between them). Only one of my uncles "buddies" had also gotten it (probably who he got it from and then passed it to my other 2 uncles). Blood born pathogens are not that easily passed from family member to family member - unless you plan on sharing needles or bleeding profusely all over your children. You are putting them more at risk for stuff like MRSA, ESLB, etc.