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Intensive Care Nurses’ Knowledge & Practices regarding Infection Control Standard Precautions at a Selected Egyptian Cancer Hospital

The International Institute for Science, Technology and Education (IISTE)
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Critical care nurses are the health care professionals who have the obligation to protect critically ill patients against infection especially those who are immune compromised, in order to enhance their recovery, prevent deterioration in their health, and achieve high quality nursing care. Therefore critical care nurses should have sound knowledge and strict adherence to infection control standard precautions. Aim of the study: to assess nurses' knowledge and evaluate their practice regarding infection control standard precautions. Research design: A descriptive research design was utilized in this study. Sample: A sample of convenience including 77 ICU nurses was recruited in the current study. Setting: The study was carried out at the Intensive Care of a selected Cancer Hospital in Egypt. Tools of data collection: Two tools were developed, tested for clarity and feasibility, and then used to collect data pertinent to the current: a- Structured Interview Questionnaire to assess nurses' knowledge regarding infection control standard precautions. b-Nurses’ Performance Observational Checklist to evaluate nurses' practice / utilization of infection control standard precautions. Results: the current study revealed that, approximately two thirds (63.6%) of the studied sample had unsatisfactory knowledge level (<75%) with a mean total knowledge score of 102.5 + 13.7. However, more than half (57.1%) of the studied sample had satisfactory performance level (>75%) with a mean total performance scores of 77.3+4.4. Negative significant correlations were found between: mean knowledge scores, and age; mean knowledge scores and years of experience (r = -.323 & r = -.325 at P < 0.004 respectively); between mean practice scores and age; and mean practice scores and years of experience (r = -.235 & r =-.291 at P < 0.39, 0.010 respectively). However, positive correlations were found between mean knowledge scores and mean practice scores; age and years of experience (r = 0.318 & 0.794 at P < 0.005 & 0.000 respectively). Conclusion: Based on findings of the current study, it can be concluded that inspite of having satisfactory performance level regarding infection control standard precautions, critical care nurses had unsatisfactory knowledge level. Recommendation: updating knowledge and performance of ICU nurses through continuing in-service educational programs; emphasizing the importance of following the latest evidence-based practices of infection control in continuing education / training programs; strict observation of nurses’ performance/ utilization of infection control standard precautions and correction of poor practices by the infection control team are required; and providing training programs for newly joined ICU nurses about infection control standard precautions and at regular intervals. Key Words: Infection control (IC), Standard precautions (SP), Intensive care unit (ICU), Knowledge, Practices

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