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Background: Nursing students are a high risk group for infection from bloodborne pathogens due to needlestick injuries (NSIs) and blood as well as exposure to other potentially infectious materials (OPIM). However, not all NSIs and OPIM exposures are reported, leading to an underestimation of the actual prevalence.
Objectives: The objective of this predictive correlational research was to examine the factors that predict safety behaviors in nursing practice as well as the personal factors, perceptions, and safety climate.
Materials and methods: The sample consisted of 181 undergraduate nursing students in the 3rd and 4th year in the eastern region, who were selected using cluster random sampling. Structured questionnaires were used for the data collection during September to October 2018. The questionnaires included personal data, the experiences of NSIs and OPIM exposures, places and nursing activities where NSIs and OPIM exposures occur, as well as the safety behavior in nursing practice, perceived susceptibility to NSIs and OPIM exposures, perceived severity, and the perceived benefits and the perceived barriers to safety behaviors in nursing practice. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and multiple regression.
Results: The results revealed that the incidence of NSIs and OPIM exposures were 22.1 and 8.3 per 100 persons, respectively. The overall mean of safety behaviors in nursing practice was at a rather high level (M = 3.61, SD = 0.23). The perceived benefits of safety behaviors in nursing practice, the safety climate, and the experiences of NSIs and OPIM exposures could jointly explain the 14.3% variance in safety behaviors in nursing practice.
Conclusion: . Therefore, safety behaviors in nursing practice among nursing students should be promoted by strengthening their self-awareness regarding the benefits of practicing safety behaviors, promoting a safety climate, and the setting up of NSI and OPIM exposure surveillance.
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