Evaluation of the Nurses’ Level of Knowledge Regarding Hand Hygiene and Healthcare-Associated Infections: A Survey
The level of knowledge on hand hygiene (HH) and healthcare associated infections (HAI) directly influences the medical staff’s practice of HH and the rate of HAI. Continuous Medical Education (CME) is an important way of improving knowledge, increasing HH compliance and reducing HAI rates. The aim of the study was to asses the nurses’ knowledge regarding HH and HAI in order to identify their educational needs. In February-June 2018, a study was conducted, which included nurses participating in an educational program on HAI management theme. A questionnaire with 25 items from the following 6 specific areas: ”HAI”, ”HH”, ”Disinfection and sterilization”, ”Standard precautions and transmission-based precautions”, ”Accidental exposure to biological products” and ”The management of medical waste” was used to assess the knowledge. A total of 236 nurses were included in the study. The average score of the group was 8.38+1.03. There were identified 3 important specific areas where nurses encountered problems in identifying the right answer: ”HAI”, ”HH”, ”Disinfection and sterilization”. 67,8% of the nurses had inadequate knowledge of HH and HAI prevention, and 39% of the nurses had an insufficient level of knowledge, which may be a potential barrier to HAI prevention. Identifying specific areas where nurses have knowledge deficits facilitates the development of a CME strategy centered on the nurses’ educational needs.