Advances in medical technology, greater access to medical facilities and better socio-economic conditions had increased the life expectancy. The proportionate increase of the elderly in the population caused a gradual escalation of the number of medically compromised patients. Knowledge, awareness and practices of health personnel hold paramount importance in the proper management of these patients to prevent complications. Thorough literature search did not generate relevant data with respect to aptitude of medical, dental and nursing personnel or trainees in this arena. Hence, the present study was planned to evaluate and compare the knowledge and awareness of medical, dental and nursing students in the management of medically compromised patients through a questionnaire. This cross sectional study was conducted in medical, dental and nursing colleges of the campus and the surrounding regions. A closed ended questionnaire containing 20 multiple choice questions with four options each, pertaining to disorders and management of the commonly encountered systemic conditions was circulated among medical, dental and nursing students. The responses of 750 students were tabulated, maintaining anonymity and statistical analysis was done. Total mean scores of medical and dental students were around 50%, while the nursing students had an average score of 30%. The medical students fared better in medical emergencies and HIV than dental and nursing students, while the medical and dental students had comparable knowledge regarding cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS) and other systemic disorders. There was a lacuna existing in the knowledge of medical, dental and nursing students regarding the management of medically compromised patients.
Key words: Awareness, dental students, medically compromised patients, medical students, nursing students, questionnaire.
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