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Médecine du travail du personnel hospitalier

Dental students and bloodborne pathogens: occupational exposures, knowledge, and attitudes

Auteur     Julie E Myers
Auteur     Ronnie Myers
Auteur     Mary E Wheat
Auteur     Michael T Yin
Résumé     Dental professionals may be exposed to bloodborne pathogens in their work, and dental students may be a particularly vulnerable group. Fear of exposure has also been linked to discriminatory practices. A cross-sectional survey of dental students was conducted at one U.S. dental school to assess their knowledge about the transmission of bloodborne pathogens and management of exposures; the frequency of their bloodborne pathogen exposures (BBPEs); and associations among their prior exposure, knowledge, perception of knowledge, and attitudes toward practice. Overall, 220 students (72.1 percent) responded to the survey, and 215 (70.5 percent) answered questions about exposures. The prevalence of BBPE was 19.1 percent and was greater among clinical than preclinical students (p<0.01). Percutaneous injuries occurred in 87.5 percent of those exposed. All students (preclinical and clinical combined) answered more survey questions correctly about transmission of bloodborne pathogens (66.7 percent) than about post-exposure management (25.0 percent). Fewer than half reported adequate knowledge of transmission and management (47.5 percent and 37.3 percent, respectively). In this context, 8.2 percent of the respondents acknowledged an unwillingness to perform procedures on patients with HIV. Since knowledge gaps may lead to failure to report incidents and delays in appropriate exposure management and some negative attitudes towards treating individuals with HIV persist, these findings justify improving BBPE education at U.S. dental schools.
Publication     Journal of dental education
Volume     76
Numéro     4
Pages     479-486
Date     Apr 2012

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