Knowledge and Practice of Standard Precautions among Health Care Workers in a Secondary Facility in Southern Nigeria
Background: Health care workers are at risk of acquiring infections from blood borne pathogens in healthcare settings.
Objectives: This study was carried out to assess the knowledge and practice of standard precautions (SP) among healthcare workers in a health facility in southern Nigeria.
Methods: This was a descriptive cross sectional study carried out among 150 health workers in Saint Luke’s hospital, Uyo, Nigeria in April 2018. Respondents were selected using multistage sampling method. Data was collected with a semi- structured interviewer administered questionnaire and analyzed using Stata version 12. Level of significance was set at 0.05.
Results: Thirty six percent of the respondents were aged 30-39 years, 80.7% were females and 40% had worked for > 10 years. The mean knowledge and practice scores on a scale of 10 were 8.2 ± 1.0 and 6.4 ±2.2 respectively. Poor practices reported included needle recapping 54%, faulty sharps disposal 13% and not being immunized against hepatitis B, 39.3%. Doctors were most likely (OR=8.87; p=0.03), while ward orderlies were least likely (OR=0.08; p=0.00) to have good practice of SP compared to nurses. Also, those who were trained on SP were more likely to have good practice than those who were not (OR=4.93; p=0.01). Overall, 18 (12%) of the respondents experienced sharps related injuries, while 13 (8.7%) had splashes in the previous year.
Conclusion: Several gaps were identified in the practice of SP among health workers. Regular training of all health workers who come in contact with body fluids is advocated to ensure optimum practices among them.
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