Exploring student nurses' risk perceptions of contracting tuberculosis during clinical placement in a selected KwaZulu-Natal college of nursing campus.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared Tuberculosis (TB) to be a global emergency (Baral, Karki & Newell, 2007). In KwaZulu-Natal 5704 TB cases were registered in 2009 (KwaZulu-Natal Uthukela Health District report, 2009). According to Mak, Mo, Cheung and Woo (2006) pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) has the longest history compared to other two types of infectious diseases which are HIV/AIDS and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The purpose of this study was to explore student nurses’ risk perceptions of contracting tuberculosis (TB) during their clinical placement in a selected KwaZulu-Natal College of Nursing campus. The researcher used quantitative descriptive exploratory design. A questionnaire with closed and open ended questions was used to collect data from the respondents. Data was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 15. One hundred and thirty-two respondents participated in the study, 66 (50%) were first year students and 66 (50%) were second year students. The majority of the respondents were females n= 93 (70, 5%). The findings of the study indicated that student nurses perceived TB as a serious disease and they perceived themselves to be susceptible to contracting the disease during clinical placement. They also displayed good knowledge of preventive measures of risk perceptions, the highest mean score was 3, 79. The Fisher’s exact test was performed to establish a relationship between the variables, and it showed that there was a relationship between age and perceived barriers, p-value was 0,039. In conclusion, the respondents displayed relevant knowledge on TB preventive measures and positive perceptions of contracting TB, which will be the predisposing factors for behavioural change.