PAN53: HIV, Needlesticks and the story of Karen Daley, PHD, MPH, RN, FAAN

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“As I got on the elevator that final time, I realized that this was the end of my clinical career.” Karen Daley, RN reflected on what it felt to walk out of the Emergency Room for the last time after an accidental needle stick led to a diagnosis of HIV and Hep C. “I just never thought it would end this way.”

On this episode of the Patient Activation, Karen Daley shares her emotional journey and the work she is doing to help raise awareness for needle stick safety.

About Karen Daley, PHD, MPH, RN, FAAN

Karen Daley, RNKaren Daley is an American nurse, past president of the American Nurses Association, former director of the American Nurses Credentialing Center and an advocate for the prevention of needlestick injury in healthcare. Karen worked as an emergency room nurse for many years until sustaining a needlestick injury on the job in 1998. After drawing blood from a patient, she was stuck by another needle that was wedged in the container as she was trying to dispose of the needle. A few months later, Daley tested positive for HIV and hepatitis C.

Daley has not let her diagnosis keep her down. She encouraged the passage of a bill at the Massachusetts state legislature that requires hospitals to report needlestick injuries to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. For Daley’s work in needlestick injury prevention, she was named a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 2006. Daley has served as director of the American Nurses Credentialing Center and as president of the Massachusetts Association of Registered Nurses (MARN) and the Massachusetts Center for Nursing.

Photo credit: Milton, MA 5/20/17) Curry College commencement speaker Karen Daley photographed at Curry College by Nicolaus Czarnecki

In 2010 and 2012, she was elected to two-year terms as president of the American Nurses Association, where she had previously served on the board of directors. She is on the board of trustees for the American Nurses Foundation. In 2013, she was named to the Modern Healthcare Top 25 Women in Healthcare for 2013.

Episode Details

  • About Karen A. Daley, PHD, MPH, RN, FAAN
  • Being diagnosed with HIV and Hep C
  • Shifting from a clinical focus to raising awareness for needle safety
  • Advice for newly diagnosed HIV and Hep C patients
  • New blood draw technology for safer blood draws
  • Closing thoughts

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