Nurses attitudes are key to better compliance with infection control practices

June 20, 2018 by Mike Addelman, University of Manchester

A study in the United States has shown that attitudes among community nurses are important for their compliance with infection control practices.

The study, by researchers at The University of Manchester, Columbia University, the Visiting Nurse Service of New York and Appalachian State University in the US, is published in the American Journal of Infection Control.

The survey of 359 community nurses analysed knowledge, attitudes and reported compliance with practice guidelines looking at the relationship between attitudes to and actual compliance to infection control norms.

The study is led by Dr. Jingjing Shang from Columbia University School of Nursing, with Dr. David Russell from the Visiting Nurse Service of New York and Department of Sociology, Appalachian State University.

The survey revealed that attitudes and organisational culture, rather than knowledge base was much more likely to inculcate greater compliance with infection control.

Older nurses were more likely to report self-compliance as were Non-Hispanic black nurses—a cultural designation specific to the United States- who were 24 percent more likely than other groups to self-report compliance

The percentage of community nurses in the survey who reported with infection control practices exceeded 90 percent for most of the measured behaviours.

However, 81.9 percent said they wear a disposable face mask whenever there is a possibility of a splash or splatter, and 79 percent said they wear a gown if soiling with blood or bodily fluids is likely.

And 78.8 percent - 69.6 percent said they wear goggles or an eye shield when of exposed to bloody discharge or fluid.

Slightly more than two-thirds of respondents said that the influenza vaccine is safe (68.5 percent), and 60.4 percent of them felt it was easy for them to stay at home when they are sick.

And almost all the respondents failed to identify that hand hygiene should be performed after touching the nursing bag, which may transport infectious pathogens between patients.

Professor Dawn Dowding, from The University of Manchester is on the research team.

She said: "Infections such as urinary tract, respiratory, wound, and sepsis are one of the major reasons why patients are admitted to hospital. But we know very little about controlling it in the community

"In fact, the community is a place where control is more difficult as patients may live in a variety of circumstances, with varying degrees of hygiene and knowledge."

"We find most of the nurses said they were compliant with infection control protocols, but some said they were not."

She added: "We're not entirely sure why older nurses are more likely to comply with infection control protocols, but it's probably a combination of factors.

"One possibility could be that older nurses have probably spent more time in the same organisation and whose infection practices have become second nature to them

"But our key message is that is not necessarily about knowledge- as most of the nurses surveyed had been working for some time.

"So more training, for example, might not necessarily change behaviour; we felt from this research that inculcating good practice into the organisational culture is likely to be more effective."

Explore further: Fewer than one in five nurses comply with guidelines for standard precautions

More information: David Russell et al. Factors for compliance with infection control practices in home healthcare: findings from a survey of nurses' knowledge and attitudes toward infection control, American Journal of Infection Control (2018). DOI: 10.1016/j.ajic.2018.05.005

Related Stories

Fewer than one in five nurses comply with guidelines for standard precautions

January 20, 2016
Only 17.4 percent of ambulatory care nurses reported compliance in all nine standard precautions for infection prevention, according to a study published in the January issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, ...

The missing link in antimicrobial stewardship strategy

June 13, 2018
Empowering nurses to participate in antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) is the missing link in strengthening hospital-wide antimicrobial stewardship and improving patient care, according to a new study presented at ...

Nursing students lack effective role models for infection prevention, study says

September 3, 2013
100 percent of student nurses surveyed observed lapses in infection prevention and control practices during their clinical placements, according to a British study published in the September issue of the American Journal ...

Study measures impact of education, information on hand hygiene compliance

October 29, 2013
How often do you clean your hands? A study at Rhode Island Hospital observed staff on 161,526 occasions to monitor how often they cleaned their hands (ie, hand hygiene) between July 2008 to December 2012 and found that hand ...

Not all docs/nurses want to be asked about hand hygiene

September 10, 2012
(HealthDay)—Although most health care workers (HCWs) appreciate the role of patients in preventing health care-associated infection, a considerable proportion are uncomfortable with patients asking about their hand hygiene, ...

Handwashing gets skipped a third of the time in outpatient healthcare

April 11, 2016
Despite having policies in place to prevent infections, staff at outpatient care facilities fail to follow recommendations for hand hygiene 37 percent of the time, and for safe injection practices 33 percent of the time, ...

Recommended for you

It's not just for kids—even adults appear to benefit from a regular bedtime

September 21, 2018
Sufficient sleep has been proven to help keep the body healthy and the mind sharp. But it's not just an issue of logging at least seven hours of Z's.

Most nations falling short of UN targets to cut premature deaths from chronic diseases

September 21, 2018
People in the UK, US and China have a higher risk of dying early from conditions like cancer, heart disease and stroke than people in Italy, France, South Korea and Australia.

Alcohol responsible for one in 20 deaths worldwide: WHO

September 21, 2018
Alcohol kills three million people worldwide each year—more than AIDS, violence and road accidents combined, the World Health Organization said Friday, adding that men are particularly at risk.

Patient-centered visual aid helps physicians discuss risks, treatments with parents

September 21, 2018
A series of illustrations and charts designed as decision aids for parents of children with minor head injuries helped them communicate with emergency medicine physicians and make informed decisions about their child's care, ...

Smart pills dumb down medical care, experts warn

September 21, 2018
Enthusiasm for an emerging digital health tool, the smart pill, is on the rise but researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have published a paper in the American Journal of Bioethics that cautions health care ...

Crunched for time? High-intensity exercise = same cell benefits in fewer minutes

September 20, 2018
A few minutes of high-intensity interval or sprinting exercise may be as effective as much longer exercise sessions in spurring beneficial improvements in mitochondrial function, according to new research. The small study ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.