Prevention and management of occupational sharp injuries among health care workers at secondary care hospitals in Sri Lanka
Keywords:Occupational sharp injuries, health care workers, training program, knowledge, and practices
Health care workers are at risk of exposure to infections like Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and Human Immunodeficiency Virus and other blood-borne pathogens due to accidental exposure to contaminated sharp objects. The objective of this study was to improve the knowledge and practices among health care workers on management and prevention of occupational sharps injuries at secondary care hospitals in Galle district, Sri Lanka. Validated questionnaires, key informant interviews and checklists were developed to determine the existing system and current Knowledge and practices among health care workers. A training programme with the multimodal interventions was developed to address the gaps in the knowledge, practice, and existing system. Health care workers (n=139) were included in this project. The study was conducted as three components. Post-test sample was compared with pre-test sample by using paired t-test. The level of knowledge was significantly increased among nursing officers (p=<0.05) and health care assistants (p=<0.05), but not among medical officers. The level of practices was significantly improved in all health care workers in the post-test sample (p=<0.05). The participants checked for Hepatitis B antibody level (p=<0.05) and the number immune to Hepatitis B (p=<0.05) was increased significantly after intervention. According to the qualitative part of the study, the overall mechanism available to manage and prevention of OSIs at those institutions was also improved after the intervention. The results show the ability to improve the knowledge and practices on occupational sharp injuries among health care workers by planned training and improve the system through a multimodal approach.
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