Nursing undergraduates are essential to practice clinical procedures during their training at teaching hospitals. While improving hands-on skills, the students carry a risk of sharps injuries exposing them to blood-borne infections.


The aim of this study was to investigate on needle stick injuries and Hepatitis B vaccination status among B.Sc. Nursing undergraduates in General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University.

Materials and Methods:

A descriptive cross sectional study was conducted among all nursing undergraduates in the Faculty of Allied Health Sciences to find out the incidence of needle stick injuries, associated factors, practices and perceptions regarding standard precautions. A self-administered questionnaire was administered to 294 undergraduates. Data was collected at the faculty premises.


A total of 235 nursing undergraduates consented in the study. Ninety five percent of the participants had obtained at least one dose of Hepatitis B vaccination. Only 16% had vaccinated with all three doses. Among the participants, one or more needle stick injury was experienced by 36% (n = 84). Most (51%) of the injuries were reported by 3rd year nursing students. Majority (51%) of injuries’ occurred during injection procedure and 27% during blood drawing. Most of the incidents (61%) had occurred at the medical wards. Eighty two percent of the incidents were due to hollow bore needles and 49% were cutting injuries with glass or ampules. Forty one percent injuries had occurred due to distraction, whereas 29% due to incompetent skills and 22% with inadequate preparation. Following the injury, 96% students had washed the injured site, 40% had informed the ward sister regarding the incident, 22% had checked own blood sample whereas 24% had checked patient’s blood. There was no association (p=0.6) between the frequency of injury and gender. However, the duration of clinical training and the frequency of injuries was statistically significant (p=0.000). The knowledge on prevention of needle stick injuries was found at a satisfactory level.


Needle stick injuries are preventable. The incidence of injuries was relatively low in this group of students. The practice of standard precautions and post-injury management should be taught before the clinical training. The availability of personal protective equipment at the clinical settings need to be increased while encouraging the students to get adhered to the universal precautions.

Keywords: Nursing undergraduates, Hepatitis B vaccination, Needle stick injuries


Vidanage, D. and Wijesiri, H.S.M.S.K., 2018, ‘A study on needle stick injuries and hepatitis B vaccination status among BSc Nursing undergraduates in General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, Sri Lanka’, Global Scientific Journal, Vol. 6(7), pp. 902-909


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