HCP is an abbreviation for “Health Care Personnel” This term refers to all persons that serve in healthcare settings, both paid and unpaid, that are able to be directly or indirectly exposed to patients and infection materials. These materials include body substances (such as blood, tissue, bodily fluids, etc.), contaminated medical devices, medical supplies, equipment, contaminated surfaces, or contaminated air. HCPs can include a wide range of individual titles, including:

  • Emergency medical service personnel

  • Nurses

  • Nursing assistants

  • Physicians

  • Technicians

  • Therapists

  • Phlebotomists

  • Pharmacists

  • Students and trainees

  • Contractual staff not employed by the health care facility

  • Non-medical professionals such as clerical, dietary, environmental services, laundry, security, maintenance, engineering and facilities management, administrative, billing, and volunteer personnel

HPC does not currently include dentists, autopsy professionals, and laboratory personnel. These entities have their own recommendations for occupational infection prevention and control (IPC) services. The entities that are considered healthcare personnel are determined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Because of the nature of the environment and work that HCPs do, it is often required for them to have regular vaccinations. Achieving high vaccination rates amount healthcare personnel is vital in saving lives, reducing the burden of disease on healthcare facilities, and reducing healthcare costs and overhead. Vaccination recommendations apply to all HCPs that work in hospitals, long-term and short-term care facilities, urgent care facilities, emergency care facilities, home healthcare settings, dialysis centers, surgery centers, senior housing and senior care communities, laboratories, physician’s offices, outpatient clinics, rehabilitation centers, and health departments.

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