[Preventive measures against hepatitis B virus infection in nursing schools in Japan]
Morishita M. Kamachi C. Imamura T. Matsuu K.
St. Mary's Junior College of Nursing, Fukuoka.
To clarify the use of preventive measures against Hepatitis B Virus infection among nursing students, questionnaires were mailed to 488 nursing schools throughout Japan (including colleges and junior colleges). Two hundred and sixty-eight nursing schools answered our questionnaire. The results are summarized as follows: 1. Eighty percent of the nursing schools that responded, regularly perform the HBs antigen test, and 70% conduct the HBs antibody test. However, only 29% carry out HB vaccinations. 2. Of the 172 schools (71%) that do not actually perform HB vaccinations, only 4% have a HB vaccination plan for the future. 3. The main reasons why the schools do not carry out HB vaccinations are: 1) high cost (48%), 2) low risk of HBV infection among students (34%), 3) the students are thought to be themselves capable of preventing HBV infection (31%). 4. Eighty percent of the nursing schools conduct an orientation program for their nursing students on how to prevent infection before their practical training at school as well as during their practical training at the hospital. 5. Thirty-five percent of the nursing schools have their own "Prevention of HBV Infection Manual", while some of the others use a manual provided by their training hospital. 6. In answer to the question "Do the instructors ask the students to report any potential risk of infection they encounter during their training in the hospital?", 88 approximately 89% of the schools said that they instruct their students to report all injuries involving a needle stick. Other questions relative to various circumstances were also asked. To the question of whether the school requires the students to report any wounds to their fingers or hands, the rate of "yes" answers was only 33%, although this information is essential to prevent avoidable risk. Conclusion In our investigation we found that the HBs antigen and the HBs antibody tests are both performed in a high proportion in nursing schools. Orientation concerning students' training at the hospital to prevent infection is also provided at a high rate. On the other hand, HB vaccinations are not widely performed. Manuals on the prevention of HBV infection are not used at a high proportion either. Also, the reporting system for students encountering any potential risks of infection is insufficient. We think that a more active prevention system for HBV infection should be organized in every nursing school.