*Adnan Bashir Bhatti, MD, Muhammad Usman, MBBS, Farhan Ali, Siddique Akbar Satti and Nabiyah Bakhtawar, MBBS,


Background: One measure that can definitely put a stop to the cross-transmission of micro-organisms is hand hygiene. The compliance of nurses the practice of washing their hands is pivotal when it comes to hospital acquired infections. There is lack of studies in Asia addressing this matter. Objective:This study is meant to assess the attitude, knowledge and practice of hand washing among nurses. Moreover, this study will also address the concern of availability of such services for the nurses. Material and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted amongthree hundred (300) nurses comprising of 150 head/staff nurses and 150 student nurses. Subjects were consented and selected through non probability convenient sampling. Study Design: The study design was a hospital-based cross-sectional study. Study Setting and duration: The study was conducted in different wards of Capital Development Authority Hospital.The duration of study was about 3-4 months i.e. from September 2014 to December 2014. Inclusion criteria: All the nurses either head nurses, staff nurses or student nurses were included in the study. Data Collection and analysis:A precoded proforma was used to collect the information.Data was entered and analyzed using SPSS version 17. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data by calculating the frequency and percentage or mean and standard deviation of each response accordingly. Inferential statistics were also applied using Chi-square and t-test. P-value ≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results:Basic facilities of hand washing were available at most places. It was found that 57.9% of staff/head nurses have good knowledge score while 42.1% of student nurses fall in this category. Regarding attitude, almost 35% said that their reason for non compliance to hand washing was non availability of hand hygiene facilities, 27.7% blamed time factor, 22% said due to poor quality of soap provided by the administration and 11.7% said due to lack of suitable environment. Regarding practice, it was seen that 4% of respondents do not wash hands at all. 80% washed their hands both before and after procedures. This practice was significantly higher (86.8%) in student nurses as compared to staff nurses (74.5%). Conclusions: The nurses had good knowledge on hand hygiene. However, attitudes, practices and facilities were average. Knowledge, attitude and practice of hand washing were quite similar in staff and student nurses. The study highlighted the need for improvement of the existing hand hygiene training programs to address the gaps in knowledge, attitudes and practices. Policy message:Majority, despite having knowledge, need motivation and continuous education of hand hygiene. Facilities of hand hygiene should be made available.

Keywords: Hand hygiene, hand washing and infection control.

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