Influence of Antineoplastic Safe Handling Guidelines on Enhancing Nurses’ Performance

Document Type : Original Article


1 Medical-Surgical and Critical Care Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Beni-Suef University, Beni-Suef, Egypt

2 Community health nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Beni-Suef University, Beni-Suef, Egypt

3 Medical-Surgical and Critical Care nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Helwan University, Helwan, Egypt


Back ground: Chemotherapy is associated with several adverse effects not only for patients, but
also for nurses who handle, prepare and administer it like hair loss, skin rash and abortion. So,
nurses are in urgent need of learning how to safely handle chemotherapy drugs to protect
themselves from serious complications. Aim: to enhance nurses’ performance in safe handling of
antineoplastic drugs. Methods: A quasi-experimental study was conducted involving a convenience
sample of 40 nurses working at the Fayoum Oncology Center. Data were collected using five tools:
nurses’ knowledge questionnaire, nurses’ practice tool, checklist of nurses’ attitudes toward
antineoplastic drugs, checklist of adverse effects caused by exposure to antineoplastic drugs, and
checklist of nurses’ opinion on the causes of noncompliance to safe handling guidelines of
antineoplastic drugs. Results: A statistically significant difference in the overall knowledge,
practices, and attitude of the nurses was observed between the pre- and post-program periods (p<
0.001* ). Furthermore, a positive correlation was found between nurses’ knowledge and practices
during both the pre- and post-program periods (r = 0.582, p< 0.001* and r = 0.297, p = 0.063,
respectively). Conclusion and Recommendations: Based on the results presented in this study, the
nurses’ performance enhanced, which forced us to continue training and monitoring. Furthermore,
medical surveillance for nurses should be implemented to assess the prevalence of complications of
antineoplastic drugs.