Discipline: Health Education
The problem of health-care associated infections (HAI) is immense with 1/25 patients developing it and over 1.4 million cases at a given time worldwide, Sequelae of HAI, an infection absent upon hospital admission but acquired during the hospitalization, include more serious illness, longer hospital, chronic disability and even death. HAI is drawing more attention from stakeholders because of the heightened recognition that these infections are preventable. Healthcare workers frequently serve as a conduit for the spread of infections to other clients in their care. Hand hygiene, the most efficient and cost-effective means of controlling hospital infection, is the most ignored intervention. This descriptive study assessed, through direct observation, the hand hygiene practices of 28 junior nursing students of a Manila university during drug administration and in-between patient care at a selected tertiary hospital during the students’ three-week clinical exposure in a medical-surgical unit. Results show that with minimal prompting on the initial week, appropriate hand hygiene was practiced on 32% of the occasion. Improvement was noticed in weeks 2 (51%) and 3 (74%) with several reminders provided to students. The data are alarming, and emphasis should be given to students at this level to instill the habit of hand hygiene.