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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 131-137

Knowledge of chemotherapy and occupational safety measures among nurses in oncology units

1 Department of Clinical Nursing, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria
2 Department of Nursing, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Rose Ekama Ilesanmi
Department of Nursing, University of Ibadan, Ibadan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcls.jcls_88_16

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Background: The mutagenic and teratogenic effects of chemotherapeutic agents from repeated exposure during care are well documented. Nurses are among the healthcare professionals who constantly handle these agents, therefore their knowledge and pattern of occupational safety is a concern. This study sought to determine knowledge of chemotherapy and occupational safety measures of nurses in oncology units in the University College hospital, Ibadan. Materials and Methods: A cross sectional descriptive study design, based on Protection Motivation theory was conducted among 100 purposively selected nurses from oncology unit of the hospital. Data were collected using a 54-item validated questionnaire. Descriptive and inferential statistics at 0.05 level of significance was used. Results: Respondents were within 35.4 ± 5.1 years. More than half of the respondents had over 3 years practice in the oncology unit (mean 2.62, ± 1.1). Knowledge of chemotherapy among the cohort was high; mean 13.9 ± 2.2, 70 % understood the use of gloves and gowns as part of safety guidelines. On handling patients' clothes, only 57% understood that such should not be washed by hand or with other clothes. Cumulatively, 79.2% of the respondents knew about the safety guidelines, 4.7% had no knowledge while 16.1% were not sure of the correct guidelines for administering chemotherapy. Respondents' level of education was significantly associated with knowledge of chemotherapy, P<0.05; practice score was also significantly associated with respondents' cadre; P<0.05. Conclusion: Periodic and consistent update of nurses' knowledge supported by policies to enforce guidelines implementation is recommended.

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