The impact of COVID-19 on medical students' practical skills and hygiene behavior regarding venipuncture: a case control study

  • Annika Meyer
  • Christoph Stosch
  • Andreas R Klatt
  • Thomas Streichert


BACKGROUND: Despite their importance to current and future patient care, medical students' hygiene behaviors and acquisition of practical skills have rarely been studied in previous observational study. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on medical student's hygiene and practical skills.

METHODS: This case-control study assessed the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on hygiene behavior by contrasting the practical skills and hygiene adherence of 371 medical students post the pandemic associated lockdown in March 2020 with that of 355 medical students prior to the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak. Students' skills were assessed using an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). Their skills were then compared based on their results in hygienic venipuncture and the total OSCE score.

RESULTS: During the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, medical students demonstrated an increased level of compliance regarding hand hygiene before (prior COVID-19: 83.7%; during COVID-19: 94.9%; p < 0.001) and after patient contact (prior COVID-19: 19.4%; during COVID-19: 57.2%; p = 0.000) as well as disinfecting the puncture site correctly (prior COVID-19: 83.4%; during COVID-19: 92.7%; p < 0.001). Prior to the pandemic, students were more proficient in practical skills, such as initial venipuncture (prior COVID-19: 47.6%; during COVID-19: 38%; p < 0.041), patient communication (prior COVID-19: 85.9%; during COVID-19: 74.1%; p < 0.001) and structuring their work process (prior COVID-19: 74.4%; during COVID-19: 67.4%; p < 0.024).

CONCLUSION: Overall, the COVID-19 pandemic sensitized medical students' attention and adherence to hygiene requirements, while simultaneously reducing the amount of practice opportunities, thus negatively affecting their practical skills. The latter development may have to be addressed by providing additional practice opportunities for students as soon as the pandemic situation allows.

Bibliografische Daten

StatusVeröffentlicht - 19.07.2022
Extern publiziertJa

Anmerkungen des Dekanats

© 2022. The Author(s).

PubMed 35850715