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Seng M, Lim JW, Sng J, Kong WY, Koh D
Correspondence: Dr Seng Yi Feng Melvin, email@example.com
INTRODUCTION Structured training for the prevention of needlestick injuries (NSIs) among medical students was implemented in Singapore in 1998. In this study, we determined the incidence of NSIs and the knowledge and practice of managing and reporting NSIs among first-year clinical students in a medical school in Singapore, as well as the adequacy of the training provided for these students, 14 years after preventive training was instituted.
METHODS All third-year medical students (n = 257) from the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore, who had completed their first clinical year posting were enrolled in this cross-sectional study. A self-administered questionnaire was answered by the students one month after completion of their last clinical posting. Students who repeated their first clinical year were excluded from the study.
RESULTS 237 students completed the questionnaire. However, 9 of these students were excluded because they repeated their first clinical year. The response rate was 91.9%. Although 8 (3.5%) students reported one NSI each, only 2 (25.0%) of these 8 students reported the incident to the relevant authority. Among the students surveyed, 65.8% reported using gloves at all times during venepuncture procedures, 48.7% felt that improvements could be made to the current reporting system and procedures, and 53.2% felt that the training provided before commencement of clinical posting could be enhanced.
CONCLUSION There was a decrease in the incidence of NSIs among medical undergraduates in their first clinical year when compared to the incidences reported in earlier studies conducted in the same centre (35.1% in 1993 and 5.3% in 2004). The current reporting system could use a more user-friendly platform, and training on NSIs could be improved to focus more on real-life procedures and incident reporting.
Keywords: incident reporting, medical students, needlestick injuries
Singapore Med J 2013; 54(9): 496-500; http://dx.doi.org/10.11622/smedj.2013171
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