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Abstract

ASSESSMENT OF KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE AND PRACTICE AMONG CLINICAL YEAR STUDENTS TOWARDS NEEDLE STICK INJURIES AT THE COLLEGE OF MEDICINE AND ALLIED HEALTH SCIENCES, UNIVERSITY OF SIERRA LEONE TEACHING HOSPITAL COMPLEX

Dr. Brian Thompson*, Dr. Mohamed Bawoh, Dr. Mamadu Jalloh, Dr. Michael Lahai, Prof. Margaret Afolabi and Ibrahim Gibril Kanu

Abstract

Background: Needlestick injury (NSI) is an unintentional percutaneous piercing wound caused by a contaminated sharps tool, most often a hollow-bore syringe needle, and is one of the most common modes of transmission in occupationally acquired bloodborne diseases. This study is aimed to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice among clinical year students towards needle stick injuries at College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, University of Sierra Leone teaching complex. Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 173 clinical students at College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, University of Sierra Leone teaching hospital complex between March 2021 to October 2021. Data was collected using a structured self-administered questionnaire and analyze using SPSS 2021. Results: 173 students participated in this study. Majority 76.9% have heard about NSI and the diseases it causes. 68.8% of the respondents stated that three doses of Hepatitis B vaccine are required for total protection against the disease. Although most (75.7%) student were aware of postexposure prophylaxis (PEP), only 48.6% indicated that three days after exposure was maximum wait time for the administration of PEP. 82.7% of students felt that an increase in workload can lead to NSI, and educating students on Universal NSI precautions can minimize the prevalence of NSI. Most (79.2%) of the respondents believe that lack of protective equipment can predispose a student to NSI.83 of the 173 respondents stated that they have been fully vaccinated against Hepatitis B, and 79(45.7%) of students indicated that they do not report NSI. 40.5% of respondent stated that it is important to recap used syringes before discarding them. Conclusion: This study revealed that clinical students have average knowledge and good attitude towards NSI. Although students practice level towards NSI was low, it can be increased by offering official NSI training and incorporating NSI recommendations into the course curriculum for all healthcare students.

Keywords: Needle Stick Injury, Occupational exposure, Post-exposure prophylaxis, and Sharp injuries.


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