Internship preparedness among students in healthcare-related fields in the COVID-19 era: Exploring the attitude and knowledge in Saudi Arabia
Background: In the COVID-19 era, efforts are being made to increase awareness among students and enhance best practices to mitigate the outbreak. To that end, the overarching aims of this study were to understand students’ attitude toward and knowledge of COVID-19 and examine the predictors of their attitude toward hand hygiene.
Design and Methods: This cross-sectional survey study, conducted in Saudi Arabia, enrolled interns from diverse healthcare-related fields. The questionnaire was divided into three sections: sociodemographic data, knowledge of COVID-19, and attitude toward hand hygiene. The data was expressed as median and interquartile range (IQR).
Results: In all, 371 responses were analyzed. The median knowledge score was 20, which was considered good. There were no statistically significant differences across age, hospital setting, or gender. Of the 254 respondents who had attended an educational session, 167 (65%) had a good knowledge score and 83 (33%) had a moderate score, compared with only four (2%) who had a poor score. The cumulative median score of the respondents’ attitudes was 6 (IQR ), which reflects a suboptimal attitude—only 38 (22%) reported a good attitude. The predicted effect of knowledge on attitude (good/suboptimal) was statistically significant (p = 0.02) using univariate logistic regression.
Conclusions: The results suggest a strong need to encourage the current training program that targets hand hygiene practices among students in healthcare-related fields, especially prior to the internship year.
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