Chemotherapy-Knowledge and Handling Practice of Nurses Working in a Medical University of Nepal


Background: Many antineoplastic agents are known to be teratogenic and mutagenic to humans. Nurses are the main groups that are exposed to these drugs in hospital setting. Generally, the occupational activities that pose to greatest risk of exposure are the preparation and administration of antineoplastic agents, cleaning of chemotherapy spills, and handling of patient excreta. Objective: The objectives of this study were to evaluate the knowledge of nurse regarding the way of exposure of Cytotoxic Drugs (CDs) and to determine the current patterns of use of personal protective equipments while handling antineoplastic chemotherapeutic agents. Methods: An analytic cross sectional study was carried out at BPKIHS Dharan. The study was carried out on 125 nurses. The random sampling technique was used to select the study subjects using structured and semi-structured questionnaire. Collected data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Result: More than 92% of participants reported usually wearing gloves during chemotherapy handling; 6% reported using laboratory coats as protective garments. Usual use of face and respiratory protection was less than 5%. Chemotherapy was reported to be prepared in nursing station where there are no laminar airflow hoods in 100% of work settings. None of the subjects have reportedly provided any type of medical monitoring. Conclusion: Use and availability of gloves have increased but personal protective equipment like protective garments, face and respiratory protective, when handling chemotherapy have decreased and medical monitoring of exposed employees still is neither widely practiced nor consistent with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines.

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R. Chaudhary and B. Karn, "Chemotherapy-Knowledge and Handling Practice of Nurses Working in a Medical University of Nepal," Journal of Cancer Therapy, Vol. 3 No. 1, 2012, pp. 110-114. doi: 10.4236/jct.2012.31014.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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