OBSERVED HAND WASHING PRACTICES AMONG HEALTH WORKERS IN TWO CRITICAL PAEDIATRICS WARDS OF A SPECIALIST HOSPITAL
Balafama Abinye Alex-Hart and Peace Ibo Opara
DOI : 10.3844/ajidsp.2014.95.99
American Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume 10, Issue 2
Hand washing in between patient care by health workers is the single most important measure against occurrence and spread of nosocomial infections within health facilities. This study was done to observe health workers hand washing practices in two critical Paediatric wards of a specialist hospital. Trained observers observed and recorded health workers’ hand washing compliance while carrying out their routine patient care. Other information recorded included the time of observation and health workers’ occupation and rank. Data was fed in to excel spread sheet and analyzed using SPSS version 16.0. A total of 150 health workers were observed in this study. There were 116 (77.3%) females and 34 (22.7%) males giving a male: Female ratio of 1: 3.4. There were 86 (57.3%) doctors and 64 (42.7%) nurses. During the period of observation, soap with running water was found in only 39 (26.0%) occasions. Common cotton towel was found in 78.7% of the period of observation as the only available hand drying facility. Doctors’ hand washing rates before and after patients contact were 17.4 and 64.0% respectively. Doctors’ hand washing rates before and after simple procedures ranged from 0 to 56.5 and 60.6 to 100% respectively. Nurses’ hand washing rates before and after simple procedures ranged from 1.3 to 28.6% and 19.7 to 88.4% respectively. Health workers (doctors and nurses) hand washing rates on entering the wards was 4%. Hand washing rate before leaving the wards was 74.7%. Majority of the health workers dried their hands with non-disposable common cotton towels on 72.0% of the occasions. Hand washing rates was very low before patient contact and before simple procedures.
© 2014 Balafama Abinye Alex-Hart and Peace Ibo Opara. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.