Despite considerable efforts to increase patient safety by supporting the use of best practice medical and nursing guidelines by healthcare staff, adherence is often suboptimal. Swedish nurses often deviate from venous blood specimen collection (VBSC) guideline adherence. We assessed the adherence to national VBSC guidelines among senior nursing students.
We conducted a cross-sectional, self-reported questionnaire survey among 101 out of 177 senior nursing students consisting of web-based students in their fifth semester and campus-based students in their fifth or sixth semester out of six. In regard to the VBSC procedures, we asked about adherence to the patient identification, test request handling, and test tube labelling protocols that the students had learned during their second semester and practiced thereafter.
Guideline adherence to patient identification was reported by 81%, test request handling by 74%, and test tube labelling by 2% of the students. Students with no prior healthcare education reported to a higher extent that they operated within the guidelines regarding labelling the test tube before entering the patient's room compared to students with prior healthcare education. Using multiple logistic regression analysis, we found that fifth semester web-based program students adhered better to VBSC guidelines regarding comparing patient ID/test request/tube label compared to campus-based students.
Senior nursing students were found to adhere to VBSC guidelines to a similar extent as registered nurses and other hospital ward staff in clinical healthcare. Thus student adherence to VBSC guidelines had deteriorated since their basic training in the second semester, and this can impact patient safety during university/clinical studies. The results of our study have implications for nursing practice education.