alexa Abstract | Oral Health Awareness of Onclogy Nurses at Charllotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital
ISSN: 2332-0702

Journal of Oral Hygiene & Health
Open Access

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Aim: The aim of the study was to investigate whether nurses working at oncology department staff are aware of the risk factors and clinical signs of oral cancer. The objectives were firstly to determine the level of awareness on the risk factors and the clinical signs of oral cancer amongst oncology nurses secondly to determine whether basic oral hygiene was taught in their curriculum.
Methods: The study was conducted among twenty full time nursing staff working in the oncology wards at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital. A self-administered questionnaire was used to assess the nurse’s level of awareness and knowledge on the risk factors, clinical signs and training on basic oral hygiene.
Results: Over 85% of the nurses thought that an oral health screening is very important although only 5% performed this task regularly and gave advice to their patients about the risk of oral cancer. Majority of the nurses could identify the common oral lesions observed in cancer patients such as Kaposi’s sarcoma (80%), ulcers and bleeding gums (95%), and stomatitis (85%) as indicated on. Nurses were categorized according to their level of education and rank 50% were professional nurses, 10% had oncology specialty qualification, 5% were professional nurses and 20% were staff nurses.
Conclusion: It is important for nurses to be able to diagnose oral cancer especially those based at the oncology department. Nurses awareness of oral cancer risk factors and clinical signs was poor. Thus there is a need to train nurses on oral cancer to make it viable for oral cancer screening of patients upon admission.

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Author(s): Tsholofelo Mokale and Maphefo D Thekiso


Oral health, Oncology nurses, Oral hygeine, Oral health, Oncology, Oral hygeine

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