Occupational Hazards: Knowledge, Attitude and Experience of Undergraduate Dental Students of the Federal University of Paraiba, Brazil

Amanda Araújo de LIMA, Amanda Camurça de AZEVEDO, Alessandra Gabriela Leonel FONSECA, Jaqueline Lopes Menezes da SILVA, Wilton Wilney Nascimento PADILHA

Abstract


Objective: To identify occurrence of occupational hazards among undergraduate dental students of the Federal University of Paraíba, Brazil and to assess their knowledge of the required measures to be adopted in these cases.
Method: An inductive approach with statistical and descriptive procedures was used as well as extensive direct observation by the application of a questionnaire. The sample included 168 undergraduate dental students (83.6%) from 5th to 10th periods. A pilot-study was previously performed to assure the research instrument’s validity.
Results: 100 (59.5%) students reported occupational hazards, with predominance of men (62%) and students from the 8th to 10th semesters. Superficial accidents were mentioned by 101 students and percutaneous accidents by 29 students. The most important factors were: distraction (24.2%), hurry (18.9%) and lack of experience (15.4%). The frequently most mentioned instruments causing accidents were anesthetic needle (19.4%) and #5 explorer (16.4%). Most accidents occurred in the Operative Dentistry (28.5%) and Surgery (25.1%) clinics. Approximately 60% of the accidents occurred while cleansing the instruments. Use of incomplete individual protective equipment (IPE) was observed among 80 (80%) of the students that reported occupational hazards, while the students that never had occupational hazards 73.5%, reported using complete IPE. Among the undergraduate students that had knowledge of how to proceed in case of accident, 90 (56.8%) answered correctly the questionnaire. 65.5% of the students were fully immunized for hepatitis B and 22% for tetanus.
Conclusion: Experience with occupational hazards increases as the student progresses in the Dental School, but their concern with biosafety and immunization is still less than ideal. The critical points encountered were: negligence regarding the post-accident procedures, instrument cleansing, no use of rubber gloves and incomplete immunization.

Keywords


Riscos ocupacionais; Estudantes de odontologia; Ensino superior; Occupational risks; Dentistry students; Education, higher.



DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4034/pboci.v8i3.448

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