oa South African Family Practice - The value of medical student hepatitis B immunisation as part of clinical skills training in the Clinical Skills Unit of the University of the Free State : original research
<i>Background:</i> It is compulsory for medical students of the University of the Free State to be immunised against hepatitis B before they have contact with clinical patients. Previously, the students were vaccinated on campus at the student health services. With the implementation of Curriculum 2000 (the revised MBChB programme), hepatitis B immunisation, as an example of an invasive procedure, was incorporated into the medical students' clinical skills training programme. The aim of this study was to assess the students' perceptions regarding immunising their peers, being immunised by their peers and the educational value of this process. <br><i>Methods:</i> Medical students in Phase II of the MBChB programme were included in this observational descriptive study and participation was voluntary. Students immunised their peers with a hepatitis B vaccine in the upper arm under the supervision of medical and nursing personnel in the laboratory of the Skills Unit. After the final immunisation, the students completed an anonymous questionnaire. <br><i>Results:</i> Sixty-six students completed the questionnaire. Of these, 80% felt that that they had improved their understanding of the theory of immunisation. Some (8%) students preferred to have the immunisation performed at a clinic or by a doctor and 6% had a problem with being vaccinated by a peer. A few (3%) students found it unacceptable to be immunised in a mixed gender group, 5% thought they had suffered complications and 5% indicated that there had been inadequate supervision. Most of the students (98%) responded positively to immunising their peers and 95% felt that it was advantageous to receive the immunisation in the skills laboratory environment. Approximately half (56%) of the students wanted to receive additional important immunisations. <br><i>Conclusion:</i> Students were positive about practising immunisation techniques on their peers.
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