[Prevalence of biological exposure among nursing students: an observational study]

Prof Inferm. Oct-Dec 2008;61(4):217-22.
[Article in Italian]


Blood-transmitted infections such as viral hepatitis B, or human immunodeficiency virus , are a real danger to health workers. Student nurses are also exposed to biological risks during their clinical training. This study was carried out to assess the incidence and nature of such risks in student nurses in Italy, evaluating all the cases of biological exposure in the G. D'Annunzio University Hospital of Chieti from 2002 to 2006. Student nurses were monitored for 6 months after exposure. A total number of 2047 students was observed; 665 first -year (32.49%), 691 second-year (33.76%) and 691 third-year (33.76%). During training a total of 135 (6.6%) instances of biological exposure occurred, average age 24.94 (R.19-45; SD 5.52), 99 females (73.3%). Although there was a lower incidence in third-year students (-27%), most of them occurred in the Medical Department (86 =63.7%). Needle pricks were the primary cause of exposure while the tabs used for measuring blood-sugar levels also represented a high risk. Although risks were lower in last-year students, it is clear that more attention should be paid to prevention , increasing awareness of infection control and monitoring biological exposure throughout the entire training period.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Prevalence
  • Students, Nursing*
  • Young Adult