An Assessment on Laboratory Safety Knowledge among Allied Health Sciences Students at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura
This study was carried out to determine the knowledge regarding laboratory safety precautions amongst Allied Health Sciences students at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura. A cross-sectional study on laboratory safety knowledge of Allied Health Sciences students was conducted using a standardized, 60-item
structured self-administered questionnaire. The questionnaires were administered to 229 of students. The statistical data was generated using SPSS 16th version. The students who obtained scores of ≥75, 74-60, 50-59 and ≤49 were categorized as “excellent”, “good”, “moderate” and “poor” knowledge, respectively regard to laboratory safety precautions. Participants included the students from B. Pharmacy 36.7% (n=84), B.Sc. in Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS) 45.4% (n=104) and B.Sc. (Nursing) 17.9% (n=41), degree programs. Students’ overall knowledge towards the laboratory safety precautions as follow; excellent 7.4% (n=17), good 27.5% (n=63), moderate 22.7% (n=52) and poor 42.4% (n=97). Students had a “good” knowledge in relation to safety laboratory practices, personal protective equipment, traceability and waste
disposal. Knowledge regarding gas, chemical storage and glassware hazards was “moderate”. But knowledge was “poor” regard to safety equipment, emergency procedures, health awareness, laboratory equipment and instruments. A significant difference (p˂0.05) related to knowledge on laboratory safety
precautions was observed among three degree programs: B. Pharmacy: excellent 1.2% (n=1), good 10.7% (n=9), moderate 23.8% (n=20), poor 64.3 (n=54), B.Sc. in MLS: excellent 15.4% (n=16), good 49% (n=51), moderate 18.3% (n=19), poor 17.3% (n=18) and B.Sc. (Nursing); good 7.3% (n=3), moderate 31.7% (n=13), poor 97% (n=61). But there was no significant difference was observed among the students belong to different academic years within the same degree program. It is concluded that the knowledge on laboratory safety precautions amongst Allied Health Sciences students is inadequate.
KEYWORDS: Laboratory safety precautions, laboratory hazards, safety awareness
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International Journal of multidisciplinary Studies, University of Sri Jayewardnepura, Sri Lanka