Prevalence of and risk factors for needlestick and sharps injuries among nursing students


Intravenous literature: Cheung, K., Ching, S.S.Y., Chang, K.K.P. and Ho, S.C. (2012) Prevalence of and risk factors for needlestick and sharps injuries among nursing

students in Hong Kong. AJIC: American Journal of Infection Control. 40(10), p.997-1001.


Background – Although nursing students are at greater risk for needlestick injuries (NSIs) and sharps injuries (SIs) than staff nurses, there is a lack of research on NSIs and SIs in students, especially in different years of study. The purpose of this study was to identify the risk factors for and prevalence of NSIs and SIs among nursing students in different years of study.

Methods – This was a cross-sectional survey study using a questionnaire confirmed to be valid and reliable, with a content validity index of 0.96 and reliability index of 0.82.

Results – A total of 878 nursing students (response rate, 76.61%), participated in the study. NSIs/SIs, NSIs, and SIs were significantly increased by year of study (P < .001) in both the study period and 12-month prevalence. Four predictors for NSIs/SIs were final-year study (odds ratio [OR], 11.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.9-36.7), perception of not receiving prevention training (OR, 2.8; 95% CI, 1.1-7.5), perception of not using a kidney dish to contain used needles and sharps (OR, 4.2; 95% CI, 1.7-10.3), and perception of not immediately discarding used needles and syringes into a sharps box (OR, 2.9; 95% CI, 1.2-7.4).

Conclusions – Preclinical training, reinforcement of kidney dish use, immediate discarding of used needles, and adequate clinical supervision are essential elements in reducing the risk of NSIs and SIs.

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