Nurses' knowledge and preventive practices on cross infection during nursing care in Mulago Hospital, Kawempe Division, Kampala District, Uganda
Nalubwama, Justine Mpanga
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BACKGROUND: The striking feature about cross infection is that it occurs to patients, healthcare workers (HCW) and other person in health centres. It involves introducing an effective organism from an infected person/equipment to another that was not infected with the same mivroorganism. In developed countries, above 5%-10% of patients admitted to acute care hospitals acquire an infection which was not present on admission. The rate for developing countries can exceed 25%. Such hospital acquired infections add to the morbidity, mortality and costs expected from the patients underlying diseases alone (Hanbarth, 2007). OBJECTIVE: To assess the knowledge and preventive practices of nurses concerning cross infection during nursing care in mulago hospital, kawempe division, kampala district, Uganda. METHODOLOGY: A Quantitative, descriptive cross-sectional study design using a random convenience sampling method. 120 nurses from medical, surgical and pediatric units participated. A questionnaire and checklist were used for data collection. SPSS was used for data entry and analysis. Consent and ethics were considered. FINDINGS: Virtually all the nurses could define cross section, had heard of nosocomail infections (94.2%), were able to identify the causes and ways through which nosocomial infection occurred, and knew to a good extent the purpose of universal safety precautions. Nurses had a high level of knowledge concerning cross infection. The nurses put in practice some of the universal safety precautions, but not all. Majority reported following the safety precautions but this was contradictory to what the researcher observed example, 80% of nurses reported hand washing practice every after an intervention on a patient, 74% respondents reported changing gloves for every patient on the ward and 79.2% respondents reported use of only an autoclave as a type of sterilizing equipment used on their unit. CONCLUSION: In spite of the nurses having a high level of knowledge, it was not directly transferred into practice. The hospital units had in place most of the equipment/materials needed to prevent cross infection. RECOMMENDATIONS: The health stakeholders should organize ongoing seminars and workshops to educate the HCW about cross infection and universal safety precautions with emphasis on behavioral change (Implimentation of the universal safety precautions by the HCW), develop and hang posters that would act as reminders of the appropriate techniques of universal safety precautions, develop and set up infection control supervisory nursing staff to check universal safety precautions practices on the units and continually educate HCW on Nosocomail infection prevention/issues.