THE PROBLEMATICS OF NEEDLE STICK INJURIES AMONG INTENSIVE CARE WORKERS
Healthcare associated infection generally poses a major risk for healthcare professionals. In addition, acute and intensive care is specific because there is often a very first contact between the health care worker and the patient. Blood-borne infections, which represent a major complication for healthcare professionals, are perceived as one of the most risky injuries, particularly in connection with needle-stick injuries. The first objective of the research was to verify the selected theoretical knowledge of healthcare workers in intensive care about infections and needle-stick injuries. The second objective was to find the influence of working factors and procedures in intensive care on the incidence of needle-stick injuries in the monitored group of respondents.
Quantitative research was conducted with the use of the original anonymous questionnaire survey designed for general nurses working in intensive care units. For statistical data processing and hypotheses validation, program Statistica 13 was used. From the statistical tests, a non-parametric Kruskall Wallis test was employed, for ordinal variables Spearman’s correlation coefficient was utilized.
There were 178 completed questionnaire forms exploited to analyze and interpret data. In total, 211 injuries were included in the research. Out of 100% of respondents (n = 178), 12.92% of them had insufficient knowledge, indicating significant shortcomings in the given issue. Statistical data testing also found that the frequency of needle-stick injuries depends on the length of general nurses practice in intensive care as well as on the type of their workplace. On the contrary it has not been proved that the frequency of those injuries depends on the procedure of intensive care workers for disposal of sharps waste.
The results of the work have confirmed that the risk of needle-stick injuries is really high. More than half of respondents injured themselves in the past. Even multiple injuries are not exceptions, as 116 injured respondents in the survey suffered from 211 injuries. The analysis of the knowledge and working habits also points to the considerable reserves of respondents in the research areas, while knowledge should be a solid basis for creating preventive measures to ensure maximum safety in health care.
Keywords: intensive care, risk, injury, sharp material, blood-borne infections
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