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IJHSR. 2015; 5(6): 196-204

Biosafety Knowledge and Perceptions of Clinical Laboratory Science Educators in A Saudi University.

Charlie P. Cruz, Engr. Saleh Abdurahman Abu Bakr, Suhas Kaniyarakkal Thazha, Jonas P. Cruz.

Educators recognize the importance of biosafety in handling pathogenic microorganisms in teaching laboratories as well as minimizing the risk to students and the community. As facilitators of learning, they play a key role in influencing their students to strictly comply with existing institutional and national biosafety regulations and improving their related policies and practices. Good knowledge of the educators on standard biosafety practices contributes to ensuring safer teaching laboratories. The goal of this cross-sectional study was to determine the knowledge on biosafety regulations and perceptions about occupational risk and biosafety training among the thirty-one Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) educators in Shaqra University (SU). Biosafety-specific knowledge was also measured among the respondents. A pre-designed questionnaire was administered among the 5 Professors, 10 Assistant Professors and 16 Lecturers of the Departments of Clinical Laboratory Sciences at the campuses of Dawadmi, Quwayiyah and Shaqra. Results revealed that the respondents indicated moderate knowledge on biosafety regulations but they identified gaps such as lack of biosafety trainings and seminars, existence of laboratory-acquired infection, and poor dissemination of national and institutional safety regulations. In terms of biosafety-specific knowledge, the respondents needed to improve their knowledge on several aspects like the use of a biosafety manual, responsibility for the adherence to biosafety regulations, personal protective equipment, biosafety containment level, and protection in the daily laboratory work. Recommended measures were suggested to address the identified gaps, which include behavioral-based biosafety training, one or two short talks or seminars, and revision of institutional safety guidelines.

Key words: Biosafety, Clinical Laboratory Science, Shaqra University, Laboratory Safety

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