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Turning Knowledge Into Practice

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Submitted By bnarro
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Running head: TURNING KNOWLEDGE INTO PRACTICE

Student’s Putting Infection Control Knowledge to Practice
Brandy S. Narro
Grand Canyon University
NRS-433V
August 5, 2012

Student’s Putting Infection Control Knowledge to Practice
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 20 hospitalizations will be further complicated by hospital acquired infections (HAI’s) (2010). Examples of HAI’s are wound infections, respiratory infections, infections of the urinary tract and gastrointestinal tract. These infections result in an estimated 90,000 deaths per year (CDC, 2010) and $20 to $40 billion healthcare dollars on preventable complications (CDC, 2009).
This study examines the possibilities of arming student’s with a multifaceted approach to hand hygiene and the lasting effects on the practice. After obtaining approval from the medical center’s institutional review board, 75junior-level baccalaureate nursing students consented to voluntary study participation. Although the study indicates the students “agreed” to participate, the question remains whether or not participating in the study was in any way connected to a participation grade for the research course in which the students were concurrently enrolled in at the time of the study. The additional exposure and attention paid to hand hygiene and infection control would benefit these study participants.
The major variables are not specifically identified in this study. Some independent variables are: all of the subjects are nursing students, students are junior level enrolled in the research class, and all students will be provided with the same training for the study. Independent variables include: individual perception and understanding if training, retention of information, individuals assigned to different areas for observation, and individual motivation.
The instruments utilized for the study included three self –report questionnaires: The hand hygiene knowledge survey, hand washing opinions survey, and hand hygiene practice survey. These questionnaires were designed to provide reflection on current level of knowledge and beliefs to the researchers and students. Students were then provided with a skills training session with infection control personnel. This training was designed to illustrate responsibility for hand hygiene at every level in hospital and affiliated clinic settings. Students were then paired with infection control personnel for hand hygiene monitoring sessions. The paired sessions were performed to assure accurate data collection by the students. Each student had 2-4 sessions with infection control personnel before performing independent observations. Once data collection was completed, focus groups were held to discuss the results. The length of time to complete this study was 3 months. During this time over 900 observations of hospital and clinic personnel were made.
Analysis of the data from the student self- reporting surveys used descriptive statistical (frequencies and mean/standard deviation) and nonparametric testing utilizing SPSS version 18.0 software (2010). Further development of study details as well as effects to reduce researcher bias was not mentioned. One can only assume, since there were 4 authors credited in the study, that each researcher examined the data. It is unknown if this was done independently.
Any type of training requires reinforcement and practice. Additionally, there are many types of individual learning styles. These styles can be addressed and reinforced using a variety of modalities in training. This program, while not designed with the intent to solely teach infection control measure, did offer valuable lessons and reinforcement to the students. Students were able to examine and reflect on their knowledge base, receive formal classroom training, observe professionals in action, and finally demonstrate understanding of the infection control measures by observing other healthcare professionals’ deficits.
This study would be of benefit student nurses in academic settings, but in the workplace too lengthy. In place of the observation period, promotion of peer to peer accountability could be an option. Training on how to approach and address peers could be taught. Additionally, patients could be included in the accountability process, by asking healthcare staff, “Did you wash your hands?” This could be created into a campaign to further extend infection control measures by having patients ask their nurses, other healthcare providers and even visitors to perform hand hygiene.
Healthcare dollars are increasingly coming under scrutiny (CDC 2009) of the quickest interventions to decrease the cost of healthcare and increase patient outcomes may be through hand washing. This study is an example of how, at every level, education and compliance can make a difference.

References
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2010). Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs): the burden. Retrieved August 5, 2012, from http://www.cdc.gov/HAI/burden.html
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2009). The direct medical costs of health –associated infections in U.S. hospitals and the benefits of prevention. Retrieved August 5, 2012, from http://www.cdc.gov/HAI/pdfs/hai/Scott_CostPaper.pdf
Waltman, P. A., Schenk, L. K., Martin, T. M., & Walker, J. (2011). Effects of student participation in hand hygiene monitoring on knowledge and perception of infection control practices. Journal of Nursing Education, 50(4), 216-221. Retrieved August 5, 2012, from EBSCOhost

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