The impact of sharps injuries on student nurses: A systematic review

Kevin Hambridge, Andrew Nichols, Ruth Endacott

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Aims and objectives: The purpose of this review was to discover the impact of sharps injuries in the student nurse population. Background: much is known and reported about sharps injuries in registered nurses, but there has been a lack of published evidence regarding sharps injuries within the student nurse population. Method: A systematic review of nursing, health and psychology databases was conducted. The limits set were publications between 1980 and 2014 in the English language. Studies were identified then, following a rigorous critical and quality appraisal with validated tools, were selected for the systematic review. Results: A total of 40 articles met the inclusion criteria, reporting studies conducted in 18 countries. Psychological and physical impacts of sharps injuries in student nurses were reported, such as fear, anxiety and depression, although these impacts were not quantified using a validated instrument. Conclusion: The impact of sharps injuries can be severe, both psychological and physical. This systematic review shows that further research is needed into this, especially in under-researched areas such as the UK, to establish the impact of sharps injuries within this population. Further research would also aid the education and prevention of this harmful problem. The review also emphasises the psychological issues relating to sharps injuries, the impact these can have on individuals and the support and counselling that student nurses require after injury. Relevance to practice: These findings highlight the potential psychological issues that can result from sharps injuries in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1064-1071
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Nursing
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Injury
  • Inoculation
  • Needlestick injury
  • Risk
  • Safety
  • Sharps injury
  • Student nurse

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