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No, we did not recreate a policy. We used our existing safety plan and policy.
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Orange County feels it's important to build trust with every client seeking our services. We do not collect demographics on any clients seeking syringe exchange materials. Any client who requests syringes will receive them, no questions asked.
No, we provide clean syringes to anyone who asks for them. No enrollment or proof of residency required.
Clean syringes are distributed at the front desk window of both medical clinics. We also keep clean syringe kits in clinic for clients who may confide in their provider and express a need.
Each kit contains 20 syringes and the required state patient education. Some kits have FIT packs, FDA personal sharps containers. Clients have a choice of kit with or without the FIT container.
We were fortunate enough to buy a large syringe return bins for the front lobbies of our two buildings. Our program would be successful without this larger, more expensive bin. Smaller or portable bins would suffice. Additionally, front desk staff have a portable sharps container on the rare chance clients bring their syringes to the window. We have found that most clients box or package their syringes in laundry bottles prior to returning.
No, evidence suggests this is more harmful and an ineffective way to operate an exchange.
All staff had input into the policy development. Training on program operations were provided to all staff. Front desk staff received additional OSHA training on safe handling and blood borne pathogens as a precaution.