Awareness, Knowledge, and Practices Regarding Occupational Hazards Among Medical Students: A Longitudinal Study Before and After Admission as Trainees

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Abstract

Objective:

The aim of this study was to evaluate changes in knowledge, attitude, and preventive practices of students regarding occupational hazards before and after entering clinical training.

Methods:

A self-administered questionnaire was used to follow up a cohort of Belgian medical students in 2014 and 2015. Inquiries about students’ characteristics, awareness, knowledge, and practices of protective measures were included. Descriptive and multivariable analyses were performed.

Results:

Overall, 249 (94%) students completed the preclinical questionnaire and 147 (56%) responded on both occasions. Our findings revealed that student awareness and knowledge scores were inadequate but increased after admission as trainees. Students with an accidental blood contact (n = 43) showed no better knowledge of postexposure management than those without such an incident.

Conclusions:

The observed lack of awareness and knowledge regarding occupational hazards among students provides an opportunity to improve basic education and training environments.

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