Knowledge and Practice of Personal Protective Equipment among Students of Different Healthcare Specialties during COVID-19 Pandemic
Siraj DAA Khan,
Lecturer, Faculty of Dentistry, Najran University, King Abdul Aziz Street,
Najran, Saudi Arabia.
Introduction: Healthcare professionals who are constantly working to treat the patients of Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) are at great risk. So the only method they can prevent themselves while working is the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The use of PPE has increased with the spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2).
Aim: To evaluate the knowledge and practice of students of different healthcare specialties regarding the use of PPE.
Materials and Methods: The present cross-sectional study was conducted from October 2020 to December 2020 on healthcare students of different healthcare specialties of Najran University, Saudi Arabia. Participants were asked questions about the practice and knowledge of PPE via an electronic link of a questionnaire. Collected data were statistically analysed for frequency and association of responses by using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 23.0.
Results: Total of 606 students (females were 122, males were 484) from different health specialities i.e., Medical (25.4%), Dental (42.1%), Pharmacy (11.2%), Nursing (13.4%) and Physiotherapy (7.9%) participated in this survey. Most of the participants (110 from the medical field, 142 from dental, 42 from pharmacy and 63 from nursing and 28 from physiotherapy) were familiar with the word PPE before this pandemic. There was a significant relationship (p-value <0.0001) between the specialty and practice of PPE. The majority of the participants (52%) did not know the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guideline and 55.9% were not aware of donning and doffing. Only 44.7% of professionals used N95 before the pandemic and 41.9% did not use N95 before COVID-19. While using the N95 mask 58.2% felt comfortable and 11.4% didnâ€™t feel comfortable and the remaining participants were not sure.
Conclusion: Although most participants practiced and had knowledge about the use and handling of PPE, but still there is a need to improve their knowledge and train them about its importance during COVID-19. Their knowledge can be improved by different training programs and health education.