Nurses may become ill when exposed to biological agents, such as bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses. This exposure can be unintentional, from lab workers examining pathogens to a nurse getting a needle-stick injury from a needle containing a bloodborne virus.
Steps should be taken to minimize accidental exposure. The American Red Cross, for example, provides bloodborne pathogens training for professionals who may be faced with risky procedures like cleaning blood spills and sharps disposal.
Make sure you work in an environment with access to safety equipment including gloves and glasses for your protection. Also, ensure you have all your necessary shots. In some cases, vaccines may protect workers from common biological agents like hepatitis B.