BACKGROUND: The incidence of needle stick injuries is higher among nurses with a low level of knowledge on the prevention of needle stick injury, and who have not received the relevant training during their undergraduate study. The aim of this study was to determine the level of knowledge of the prevention guidelines and the prevalence of needle stick injury among students in Oman.
METHODS: An online cross-sectional survey using a questionnaire and involving 167 students from a governmental university was conducted. The questionnaire consists of 30 questions; eight general questions, knowledge related questions, and questions about risk factors, prevention measures, and actions in a case of needle stick injury. Ethical approval was obtained and the link to the survey was shared with students using their university email portal.
RESULTS: Of the participants, 81.2% were females; mean age was 23.3 (SD = 4.5) years. The mean total knowledge score was 6.6 out of 10 (SD = 2.1). In addition, 18.2% (n = 32) of the students experienced needle stick injury. Most of the injuries 71.9% (n = 24) occurred during medication preparation and administration. The main cause of NSI as reported by students was recapping the needles (59%, n = 19).
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that student nurses have a moderate level of knowledge about needle stick injury prevention measures and lack many facets of safe infection control practice. These findings require the collaborative effort of nursing administrators from both academic and clinical areas, to develop effective strategies to reduce or eliminate the occurrence of needle stick injury.