Title : Clinical exposure and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization among medical students, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka
Medical students who engage in clinical learning in healthcare settings can be potential methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) carriers.
This is a descriptive cross-sectional study having a follow-up approach. Three batches of medical students who were studying at the Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka (1st, 3rd and 5th study years of MBBS course) were screened for nasal and axillary MRSA colonization. The first-year students were screened before and 6 months after clinical learning. The knowledge of the students about infection control was scored (percentage) using a questionnaire in the one week before and later one year after the hospital exposure. Data was compared using two-sample t test.
The percentage of MRSA colonization was 6.36% (7/110) and 49.57% (59/119) before clinical exposure and after 2.5 years of exposure, respectively (p<0.012). The percentage of correct responses obtained by the students for the questionnaire about infection control was 28% and 66.9% one week before the exposure to the hospitals and one year after the exposure to the hospitals, consecutively.
MRSA carriage was significantly associated with the time duration of the clinical training of the medical students. The knowledge of students about infection control was significantly inadequate one week before the hospital exposure and they have gained the knowledge only after being exposed to the hospitals.