Effects of Educational Programs on Needle-Stick Injuries among Health Care Workers

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Effects of Educational Programs on Needle-Stick Injuries among Health Care Workers

Pico Question

How will the implementation of educational programs impact the prevalence of needle-stick injuries?


Needle-stick injuries are the penetration of the skin membranes by a sharp object such as a needle. It is a threat and an occupational hazard to most healthcare workers. This is because, the injuries caused by the needles increases the chance of the victims contracting dangerous diseases such as the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis B and C as well as other deadly blood-borne diseases. The diseases cause trauma and they are very expensive to manage. The causes cited for the prevalence of these diseases include lack of proper training and experience on how to handle different objects as well as how to use protective measures (Yao, Wu, Yang, Zhang, Yao, Huang, & Qian, 2013).

To address these issues, it has been proposed that the use of educational programs to build awareness and to instill knowledge of using the different safety devices can help address the problem. By encouraging the people to adopt the proper use of safety devices can help reduce the menace posed by the needle-stick injuries. Some of the educational programs include lectures, double gloving, behavioral modeling, and the use of protective devices, hands-on demonstrations, and discussion relating to facts attained or steps taken. According to Burke and Sarpy (2006), the use of the lectures, behavior modelling and demonstrations build up confidence in nurses which helps them to carry out their tasks effectively and efficiently. This paper will focus on the evaluation of the effectiveness of educational programs in preventing needle-stick injuries.

Approaches of Literature Synthesis

To find out whether there was a reduction in the prevalence of needle-stick injuries in hospitals after the implementation of educational and training programs, CINAHL full text and Cochrane full-text databases were used. These methods included the use of up to date journals and articles that are relevant to the field of nursing. The advanced search and review of the literature was done and the sources were found to be reputable and reliable and hence valid for the study. The search for the journals included the search for the keywords such as needle-stick injuries and nursing education and training.

Implementation Plan

To allow for the effective data collection and its analysis, a period of implementation of at least six months should be put in place. This time would be ideal for the implementation of all the teaching and training programs and the data collection from the outcomes of the study. The methods used as an intervention in the prevention of needle-stick injuries were grouped in three levels ranging from least engaging to moderately engaging and most engaging. These levels were decided based on the engagement of the apprentices. The interventions included the pamphlets and videos at least engaging, programmed manuals as moderately engaging and where the students were most engaged included hands-on demonstrations and training in behavior modelling.

As Krishna, Patel, et al., (2015) concluded, a pre-test and a post-test technique can be used to determine the effectiveness of the training programs. According to this method, before the learners start the training and educational programs on preventing needle-stick injuries, they should test first. The test is designed in the form of a standard questionnaire where the learners are tested on what they already know about the use of safety devices. The answers are then recorded in a numerical form or scale. After undergoing the training, the learners will then be given the same questionnaire used in the pre-test and the answers recorded on a numerical scale. After that, an average score of the two tests will be used to test the effectiveness of the educational programs.

Tarigan, Cifuentes, Quinn, & Kriebel (2015) indicated that the use of training programs will help in knowing and remembering proper ways of handling needles. As stipulated by Yang, Lin, and Mullan (2011), the use of retraceable needles and proper disposal of needles can help in the reduction of needle-stick injuries. In testing the effectiveness of the training and educational programs, there should be more than one measure of effectiveness measurement techniques. One of the technique that can help is where a feedback is provided to help in modifying and correcting mistakes.


The nature of the healthcare career is that they interact with patients from different backgrounds. These patients have different diseases, some which are deadly and others which are common. The nurses and other healthcare workers are also exposed to the use of needles which can be occupational hazards to them through needle-stick injuries. If for example a nurse is exposed to such an injury, there is a higher risk of contracting diseases such as HIV and other blood transmitted ailments. Some of the cited causes of these injuries include lack of knowledge and inexperience in handling safety devices. To manage the situation, education and training were put to test for their effectiveness. To test the effectiveness of the training programs, different mechanisms were used such as the pre-test and post-test. The use of education and training programs will help in minimizing the problem of needle-stick injuries.


Burke, M., Sarpy, S., (2006). “Relative Effectiveness of Worker Safety and Health Training

Methods”, American Journal of Public Health 96, no. 2. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2004.059840

Krishna, Patel D, et al. (2015). “Effectiveness of Planned Teaching Programme on Knowledge

Regarding “Prevention of Needlestick Injury” among B.Sc. Nursing Students in Selected

Colleges of Gujarat.” International Journal of Nursing Education, vol. 7, no. 3. doi:10.5958/0974-9357.2015.00153.1.

Tarigan, L., Cifuentes, M., Quinn, M., & Kriebel, D. (2015). Prevention of Needlestick Injuries

In Healthcare Facilities: A Meta-Analysis. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology,

36(7), 823-829. doi:10.1017/ice.2015.50.

Yang, Lin, and Barbara Mullan. (2011). “Reducing Needle Stick Injuries in Healthcare Occupations: An Integrative Review of the Literature.” ISRN Nursing, vol. 2011. doi:10.5402/2011/315432.

Yao, W., Wu, Y., Yang, B., Zhang, L., Yao, C., Huang, C., & Qian, Y. (2013). Occupational safety training and education for needle stick injuries among nursing students in China: Intervention study. Nurse Education Today, 33(8), 834-837. doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2012.02.004

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