Compliance with Standard Precautions among Nurses in Saudi hospitals

 Introduction: Healthcare practitioners face the risk of not only spreading infections from patient to patient, but also to themselves if they do not follow standard precautions (SPs) for infection control. Despite the seriousness of doing so, past research has indicated SP compliance is poor. Purpose: This study sought to examine current SP compliance rates across multiple hospital times in the Tabouk region of Saudi Arabia. Method: In order to achieve this, a sample of n=354 nurses were recruited to take part in a descriptive cross-sectional study in which their rate of compliance with SP protocols could be assessed. Results: The findings from this study indicated that overall compliance was sub-optimal and below clinical expectations. This was particularly the case with regards to hand washing, sharps management, and re-use of single-use Personal Protective Equipment. When examining participant characteristics in relation to the SP compliance, a series of significant differences were found across departmental settings, with surgical ward staff being the least likely to comply with SPs (p<.001). Perhaps the most surprising findings however are reserved for the examination of the impact of having received infection control training in the past. There was evidence to suggest that across a number of SP items, those who had received training complied less with SPs than would be expected (p<.001). Conclusion: This was a stark finding and calls for additional work to be done in the field of training and support for infection control.


Hanadi Dakhilallah, Noda Dakhilallah

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