Original Article

A study on the knowledge of 4th year nursing students regarding oral health care at the University of Namibia (Main Campus) Windhoek, Namibia


Oluwaseun Olayemi Olafusi

Care Health Training Institute, Windhoek, Namibia


Abstract


Background: The purpose of the study was to determine the knowledge of the 4th year nursing students regarding oral health care at the University of Namibia (UNAM). Oral health care is one of the primary health care services provided by the Ministry of Health and Social Services in Namibia.
Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted at the University of Namibia among the 4th year nursing students in 2014. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire with open and closed-ended questions. Eighty-three nursing students were included in the study. Data were collected on two variables i.e. present oral healthcare practices and health-seeking behaviors of the respondents.
Results: It was found out that only 19 respondents had used dental floss as part of their dental paraphernalia. Sixty-one respondents cleaned their teeth at least twice daily. Also, 26 of the respondents commented they do not visit the dentist. Fifty-seven respondents commented they have a good oral condition. The findings suggested that nursing students may be similar to the general student population concerning issues of oral healthcare. This can be seen in the high number of respondents who do not visit the dentists.
Conclusions: In conclusion, findings show that nursing students are aware of oral healthcare but a high number of respondents do not practice proper oral healthcare. This study recommends the need to incorporate oral healthcare education in the curriculum of students at all levels of the educational system.

Keywords: knowledge; Namibia; nursing; oral health; student