Importance of Hand Hygiene in Health Care

Introduction

Hand hygiene is a practice that nurses and other health workers in hospitals need to comply to. There s great need to establish compliance levels so that the reasons for non compliance can be researched on. From previous research findings, contaminated hands of physicians can contaminate their patient when they come in contact (Stanzak, 2006, p. 154). If trained nurses avoid neglect of washing hands, it will lead to a reduction of infection to patience due to contamination.

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Compliance of health care workers to hygiene in a hospital work environment is the main objective f this study (Currie, 2005, p. 200). There will be a six month observation period of the nurses and this is expected to reduce the infections significantly. The effects of contaminated hands of health care workers on patients have attracted global attention leading to a need to create an immediate intervention program into the same issue.

The best intervention program for this situation is by offering a comprehensive training program to the nurses and other health care workers. In order for the program to be all inclusive, patients will also be incorporated. Heath facilitators will be used to facilitate the training sessions and ensure compliance of health workers to washing hands before and after handling the patients. An assessment will have to be done before the educational program is carried out.

Apart from the educational program, joint commission resources are another feasible approach to the problem situation. One advantage with this research is that it posses no threats to cultural and resource issues. It is just an educative program that has no threats on ethical matters within the community setting.

While implementing the program, the solution is justified by the inclusion of other stakeholders like the nurses and other care givers within the health facilities, apart from the nurses who are the main centre of attention. Washing of hands is a process that needs major changes in the behavior of health facility workers and hence there is need for the implementation face to work on the attitude of the workers. Several resources are required for the implementation of this program including the human resources, financial resources and time. This translates into training instruments, which are also important for this problem situation. There will be several methods for monitoring implementation including proper record keeping.

Several theories support this topic including the theory of planned change (Swansurg, 1996, p.291). The implementation plan is feasible owing to the availability of the required resources. The proposed outcome measures are valid, reliable and finally sensitive to change. This is so owing to the fact that contingency plans will be put in place to cater for any outcomes.

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Data will be collected by two methods which are observation and questioners. The third method of data collection will be by use of interviews. Three projects of earlier research that support the project have been included for the purposes of comparing the results with other findings in an effort to contribute to the general body of knowledge. As a means of conclusion, the methods and plans to maintain and extend successful project solution, the methods and plans to revise and terminate unsuccessful project solution and the methods for provision of contribution and criticisms have also been analyzed in the research. A precise conclusion on the importance of the study and its contribution to the body of knowledge is also included at the end.

Project support

“The impact of work load on hygiene compliance in nursing” (Knoll, Lautenschlaege and Borneff-Lipp, 2010, p. 18-22)

This research was aimed at clarifying if compliance of the nursing staff to the hand hygiene guidelines was influenced by external factors like the level of nursing intensity and the capacity of the ward among others. Data that is quantitative was collected in six trial phases prospectively from June the year the year 2007 to May 2008. Ten departments from hospitals were included in the study and these were: Two intensive care units that are interdisciplinary, four internal medicinal departments and four wards for surgery (Knoll, Lautenschlaege and Borneff-Lipp, 2010, p. 18-22)

Staffs in the nursing department were monitored for hand’s disinfection in six observation trials that were participant. After observing the nurses, interviews were carried out immediately with hospital workers who did not disinfect their hands in line with the national requirements. These were done at various time periods. It came out clearly that work external work load factors have an impact on the compliance of hospital staff on the hygiene of hands guidelines. This includes even cases where non compliance is in contradiction with the individual level of personal training.

This research was chosen and included in this research because it handles issues related to hands hygiene of the nursing staff in a hospital and hence it has great comparison to this study. The results from the study research will be compared with these one to check on consistency before drawing generalized conclusions.

“Efficiency of a multimodal approach in improving the hygiene of hands in respect to a hospital intensive care unit

This research was based on the fact that even though the role of the hygiene of hands in preventing infections related with heath care was known, the level of compliance was still very low among the health care staff. The main aim of this research was to find out the level of compliance of health care staff in the intensive care units to hand hygiene, to find out the non compliance reasons, and to study the possibility of a multimodal strategy of intervention aimed at increasing the level of compliance.

All the heath care staffs that came in contact with the intensive care unit patients were observed for their hands hygiene after a strategy of intervention that was multimodal. Questioners were also circulated to help in assessing the attitude of the health care workers towards compliance. One of the reasons made for non compliance was lack of time. After an intervention strategy was undertaken, compliance levels increased greatly (Ashu, Smitha and John, 2011, p. 6-15)

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The reason as to why this study was included in this project is that it was done in a hospital setting like the project under study. The other reason is that it involves the hands hygiene as the study that is being undertaken in this work. The findings from this earlier research will be very vital in comparing with our results before making conclusions and contribution to the body of knowledge.

Compliance to the hygiene standards of cleaning hands among students and hospital Staffs in the mental environment of a health facility

This study was based on the underlying fact that the exercise of cleaning of hands by hospital staff is the best way of avoiding infections that are common in health facilities. The practices of avoiding hospital infections in health centers are mostly difficult because the hygiene of hands is linked to hospital facilities. Places in which hands are made dirty because of mud, and which have some undertakings like getting in direct contact with fluids.

The inability to change or motivate the exercises of cleaning hands among the hospital staff because the character of cleaning hands is an involving one. This is because it entails changing the attitude and beliefs of people and the rigor and commitment of the institutions (Marilyn and Rachel, 2009, p. 702-704). The research was included in this work because they both have similarities of hands hygiene among the health staff. The results will be of great importance to comparison and addition to the body of knowledge while analyzing the findings and drawing generalized conclusions.

Methods and plans to maintain and extend successful project solution

In order to maintain and extend the successfulness of the project solution, the facilitators who are the health care educators will offer reward to the most active nurses and patients who take part in the program. Part of the monetary resources will be converted into a reward system in form of gifts to be granted to the most active participants.

Rewards will be given to nurses on their punctuality in attending the hand washing comprehensive and educational program. Nurses will also be rewarded for the number of times they participate in the hand washing exercises. This reward system will ensure that more nurses take part in the educational program and washing of hands before and after handling patients. Nurses will also be awarded a certificate of participation and because it improves their curriculum vitae, it will motivate many of them to take part in the research.

Patients and other care givers in the hospital will also be rewarded according to the number of times they report on either the compliance or non compliance of the nurses to the practice of hand washing. This will motivate all the patients and care givers to participate in the hand washing exercise. These two projects will ensure the extension and maintenance of the project solution.

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Once the objectives of the project have been achieved, it will lead to the expansion and extension of the project to include other health facilities. Continued provision of hand washing comprehensive training is an important extension to the project.

Methods and plans to revise and terminate unsuccessful project solution

The greatest challenge to this program is ensuring the compliance of nurses to the hand washing exercise. Being a practice that they are not used to, it is very hard to compel the adult learning nurses to wash their hands before and after handling patients. If the required level of compliance is not recorded, the project will be extended to more health facilities so as to increase the level of compliance for the purposes attaining the required results.

Patients and other care givers may also fear giving their genuine views on compliance due to the fear of intimidation. This is mainly because nurses are their seniors. If this is realized, then more personalized and confidential means of reporting their views will be developed. This will ensure that the project is revised to meet its objectives.

If any cases of the nurses avoiding the learning sessions will be realized, then the program will be made compulsory incase the nurses want to continue with their work. The certificate of participation will be sent to the employer for verification.

For the purposes of the continuity of the hand washing exercise after the six month program, the project will lies with the heath educators in the various health facilities to ensure that they keep on training the health workers on the importance of the hand washing practice. This will ensure that the project will be terminated smoothly and have no adverse effects on the learnt skills.

Provision for contribution and criticisms

Feedback in the working setting is very vital to the success of this project. Due to the complexity of the comprehensive hand washing training and program targeting the nurses and other health workers, the general health staffs have some weaknesses that need contributions and criticism. The researchers will therefore be seeking some criticisms and contributions from other researchers in order to be in a good position to refine the given parameters of the solution that is proposed. Researchers will also collect firsthand information from health care experts and professionals on factors that are critical in enhancing the credibility and validity of the discoveries in order to guarantee the generalization of the findings.

Conclusion

The best way to prevent the spread of infection is from evidence-based research of proper hand washing will decrease the likelihood of the spread of infection within the health care organization. The research studies continue to show noncompliance to proper hand washing within the nursing profession. There will be several techniques used to educate the nursing staff on the importance of proper hand washing techniques. The main purpose of hand washing program is to promote hand washing among the nursing staff and yield a positive outcome for the clients.

References

Ashu, S.M, Smitha, E.G and John, A. (2011). Journal; Efficacy of a multimodal intervention strategy in improving hand hygiene compliance in a tertiary level intensive care unit. Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine; Vol. 15 Issue.

Currie, M. (2005). Fever hospitals and fever nurses: a British social history of fever nursing: a national service. New York: Routledge.

Knoll, M. Lautenschlaeger, C. and Borneff-Lipp, M. (2010). The impact of work load on hygiene compliance in nursing. British Journal of Nursing, vol. 19, Iss. 16 Suppl.

Marilyn & Rachel, F. (2009). Hand Hygiene Compliance among Health Care Staff and Student Nurses in a Mental Health Setting. Canada: Issues in Mental Health Nursing; 2009, Vol. 30 Issue 11.

Stanzak. R.K. (2006). Bottom line Medicine: a layman’s guide to evidence-based medicine. New York: Algora Publishing.

Swansburg, R. C. (1996). Management and leadership for nurse managers. London: Jones & Bartlett.

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