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Health SA Gesondheid (Online)

On-line version ISSN 2071-9736
Print version ISSN 1025-9848

Health SA Gesondheid (Online) vol.16 n.1 Cape Town  2011

 

ORIGINAL RESEARCH

 

A surveillance of needle-stick injuries amongst student nurses at the University of Namibia

 

 

Louis Small; Louise Pretorius; Althea Walters; Maria J. Ackerman

Department of Nursing, University of Namibia, Namibia

Correspondence

 

 


ABSTRACT

Needle-stick injuries have the potential to change a student nurse's life; yet they are dealt with covertly and many go unreported. This could create difficulties when evaluating a curriculum, because potential risk issues in nursing education might go undetected. In addition, needle-stick injuries are inherently preventable occupational health hazards. The fact that there has been, until now, no information available on the incidence of, and context in which needle-stick injuries occur amongst student nurses in Namibia, is of particular concern for nurse educators in that country. The purpose of this study was therefore to determine the incidence of needle-stick injuries and to describe the context of their occurrences. A framework known as Haddon's matrix made it possible to approach this survey from both an occupational and a nursing education perspective. The questionnaire was completed by 198 students and it was found that, during 2008 alone, 17% of student nurses sustained needle-stick injuries, but only 55% of these reported it. In addition, in 55% of the occasions on which the student nurses were injured, they were not accompanied by a registered nurse. The recommendations made are based on the three phases of Haddon's matrix, namely pre-injury, injury and post-injury phases. These recommendations focussed on student accompaniment by registered nurses, the completion of reflective exercises, sensitisation sessions before placement in clinical areas, as well as the utilisation of independent student counsellors.


OPSOMMING

Enige naaldprik-insident kan 'n groot omwenteling in 'n student-verpleegkundige se lewe te weeg bring. Ten spyte hiervan word sodanige insidente nie openlik hanteer nie, en dikwels word dit nie eers gerapporteer nie. Dit mag egter kurrikulering-evaluerings kompliseer want potensiële risiko-aspekte in verpleegonderwys mag dalk nie geidentifisser word nie. Naaldprik-ongelukke is in wese beroepsgesondheidsaspekte, wat inherent voorkombaar is. Dit was dan ook 'n bron van kommmer onder verpleegopvoeders in Namibië, aangesien geen inligting beskikbaar was oor die voorkoms en konteks van naaldprik-ongelukke onder student-verpleegkundiges in Namibië nie. Die doel van hierdie studie was dus on die voorkoms en konteks waarbinne naaldprik-ongelukke plaasvind te beskryf. Daar was reeds a raamwerk beskikbaar, naamlik die Haddon-matriks. Diè raamwerk het dit moontlik gemaak om die opname te benader vanuit sowel 'n beroepsgesondheids-perspektief as 'n verpleegopvoedkundige perspektief. Die vraelys is voltooi deur 198 studente en van die bevindings was dat gedurende 2008 alleen, 17% van die student-verpleegkundiges naaldprik-insidente gehad het, maar dat slegs 55% van die beseerdes dit aangemeld het. Daar is ook gevind dat in 55% van die gevalle, hulle nie deur 'n geregistreerde verpleegkundige vergesel was nie. Aanbevelings wat gemaak is, is gebaseer op die drie fases van die Haddon-matriks, naamlik die voor-beserings-fase, die beserings-fase en die na-beserings-fase. Die aanbevelings is gefokus op student-begeleiding, reflektiewe oefeninge, sensitiseringsessies voor die plasings in kliniese areas, asook ondersteuning van 'n onafhanklike berader.


 

 

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Correspondence:
Louis Small
Private Bag 13301
Pioneerspark, Windhoek
South Africa
lsmall@unam.na

Received: 13 Oct. 2009
Accepted: 04 May 2011
Published: 10 Oct. 2011

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