Do the pens used by nursing students in clinics cause bacterial contamination?

Nursan Cinar, Tijen Nemut, Cemile Dede, Insaf Altun, Dilek Köse




Background: Health professionals and their medical equipment have long been known to act as vectors of infectious diseases.The aim of the present study was to evaluate the role of pens used by nursing students working in clinics in relation to transmission of bacteria.

Materials and Methods: The study was conducted in Sakarya University School of Health Sciences in March 2012, with the voluntary participation of 40 third-grade nursing students during their clinical practice. In total, 40 writing items were surveyed.

Results: Twenty-two (55%) of the students were doing their clinical practice at pediatrics department and 18 (45%) were at obstetrics and gynecology department. All the samples consisted of pens and bacterial contamination was observed in 5 (12.5%) of them. The microorganisms identifi ed were: 1 (2.5%) sample was Staphylococcus hominis, 2 (5%) were Staphylococcus epidermidis, 1 (2.5%) was Staphylococcus haemolyticus, and 1 (2.5%) was Staphylococcus warneri.

Conclusion: This study highlights the risks of nosocomial infections, especially in pediatric units, if not enough attention is paid to the cleanliness of the pens used in the clinics.

Key words: Equipment contamination, hygiene, nursing students

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