Hand hygiene management among nurses: collective health challenges

Gestión del procedimiento de la higiene de las manos por enfermeros: desafíos para la salud colectiva

João Manuel Graveto Cristina Santos Paulo Santos Costa Elisabete Fernandes Susana Alarico Nádia Osório Helena Albano Vânia Oliveira About the authors

ABSTRACT

Objective:

To describe the determining factors in hand hygiene management among nurses and identify associated collective health challenges.

Method:

Cross-sectional descriptive study. Data were collected using a questionnaire that was applied in four internal medicine units of a hospital of reference in Portugal.

Results:

The sample was composed of 50 nurses aged 26 to 55 years (mean age of 34.88 years); 80% were women, 58% had a Bachelor’s degree, and had 5-30 years of nursing practice (X̄ =11.94;±5.92). The vast majority of nurses (90%) reported complying with the existing recommendations on hand hygiene in pre-established moments. However, none of the nurses were able to identify all the moments for hand hygiene using water and soap or alcohol-based handrub.

Conclusion:

This study shows that continuous training, adequate materials/structures in the units, and redesigned administration/supervision practices are determining factors to achieve higher levels of adherence to hand hygiene among nurses, as well as increased quality and safety in care delivery, which is a current collective health challenge.

Descriptors:
Health Services Administration; Hand Hygiene; Nurses; Infection Control; Public Health Nursing

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