Turkish nurses' information about, and administration of, chemotherapeutic drugs.
ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to determine both the level of information that nurses possessed and the method of administration nurses used during chemotherapeutic drug preparation and administration.
While compliance with the regulations related to chemotherapeutic drug preparation and administration seems to be very difficult, it is at the same time vital.
This descriptive study was conducted between 1 May 2002 and 1 May 2003 in the chemotherapy administration units of all hospitals in Eskisehir, west Turkey. The sample consisted of 121 nurses. Data were obtained first via questionnaire forms developed by the researchers to learn the level of awareness concerning exposure to chemotherapy. This was then followed up by the completion of observation forms during drug administrations.
The average score for information levels pertaining to nurses' protection of the environment was 7.82 +/- 0.38 of a total of 14 points, and that of self-protection was 7.94 +/- 0.24 of a total of 11 points. Nurses showed that their actual administration method was insufficient according to their level of information, with average administration evaluations of 5.46 for protection of the environment and 6.59 for self-protection. The ratio for nurses' usage of the safety cabinet during the preparation of chemotherapeutic drugs was very low at 14.2%. Only 7.4% of nurses had received in-service education about chemotherapeutics.
In order to ensure the taking of sufficient preventive precautions during the preparation and administration of chemotherapeutic agents, hospitals should be required to provide sufficient equipment and to give this precedence in hospital politics.
Healthcare workers who prepare and administer chemotherapeutic drugs may experience the cytotoxic effects of the drugs through direct skin contact, respiratory and digestive system exposure, and these effects are vital to human life. Thus, it has been recognized that nurses' information and administrations during preparation and administration of chemotherapeutic drugs are of utmost vital importance in removing the harmful effects of chemotherapeutic agents.