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Occupational Exposure to Sharp Injuries Among Jordanian Health Care Workers

Hassan, Zeinab Mohammad RN, PhD*; Wahsheh, Moayad Abdullah PhD†

Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice: May 2009 - Volume 17 - Issue 3 - pp 169-174
doi: 10.1097/IPC.0b013e31819b8d10
Original Articles

Objectives: (a) Determine the effects of the following variables (sex, age, experience years, hospital sector, occupation group, education level, working area, shift, timing of occurrence of injuries, hospital location) on the number of exposure to sharp injuries (SIs) among Jordanian health care workers (HCWs), (b) determine the number of exposure cases to SIs among subgroups within each selected variable, (c) identify the percentages of HCWs who were exposed to SIs in the last 12 months, and (d) identify the types of devices involved in SIs based on the responses of different occupational groups.

Method: Cross-sectional design was used. Data were collected using a survey that was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Participants: One thousand sixty-eight HCWs who work in private and public Jordanian hospitals participated in the survey.

Results: The HCWs whose sex; age; experience years; hospital sector, occupation group; education level; working area; shift; timing of occurrence of injuries; hospital location were female, younger than 30years old, more than 2 years, public, nurses, a bachelor degree, intensive care unit, between 3 pm and 11 pm, their injuries were during use of devises/instruments, the location of the hospital they work in was in the central of Jordan, respectively, exposed more to SIs comparing the subgroups within each other. Eighty-eight (8.2%) of HCWs were not exposed to SIs in the last 12 months, 427 (39.9%) were exposed to only 1sharp injury, 164 (15.4%) were exposed to 2 SIs, 169 (15.8%) were exposed to 3 SIs, 83 (7.8%) were exposed to 4 SIs, 95 (8.9%) were exposed to 5 SIs, and 42 of HCWs (3.9%) did not designate. Nurses (n=745, 81%) were the most occupational group involved in SIs, whereas midwives were the least (n = 5, 1%). In addition, used needles for injections were the instruments most involved in SIs (58.7%), whereas surgical dressing set was the least (8.5%).

Conclusions: Occupational exposure to SIs is a significant problem facing Jordanian HCWs, which put them at serious risk of infection from blood-borne pathogens.

From the *Faculty of Nursing and †Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Hashemite University, Zarqa, Jordan.

Reprints: Zeinab M. Hassan, RN, PhD, P.O. Box 150459, Zarqa 13115, Jordan. E-mail:

This study was presented in the Sixth Annual International Conference on Urban Health (ICUH 2007). Sixth Annual International Conference which was held on October 31 to November 2, 2007 at Baltimore City, MD

The authors would like to thank both the International Society for Infectious Diseases and the Hashemite University, located in Jordan, for funding this study.

© 2009 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.