A national survey of workers in healthcare facilities was conducted in an effort to determine to what extent the Center for Disease Control (CDC) bloodborne pathogen infection control guidelines were being used and what factors influenced their use. The survey involved 3,094 healthcare workers in hospitals, emergency rooms, and in patient services involved in direct patient care. Policies which incorporated the CDC infection control guidelines were present at each facility, but only 55% of the patient care staff, 56% of physicians and 30% of the housekeeping staff reported receiving at least one of the shots recommended in the hepatitis-B virus vaccination series. Approximately half the patient care staff recapped used needles at least sometimes after giving injections and after drawing blood. Gloves were always worn to draw blood by only 43% of the patient care staff. Most patient care personnel always changed gloves between patients, but only 61% reported that they always washed their hands after taking off their gloves. Exposure of a percutaneous nature to the blood of a patient was reported in one half of the patient care staff. One quarter of the staff reported a percutaneous exposure in the past year. Recapping used needles was the most common cause of these incidences. The authors emphasize that continued education and training, emphasis on applicable engineering controls and compliance with the OSHA bloodborne pathogens standard and the CDC's infection control guidelines are important in reducing exposures to bloodborne pathogens.