Title

A comparison of the hand hygiene knowledge, beliefs and practices of Greek nursing and medical students (Presentation)

Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

van de Mortel, TF 2008, 'A comparison of the hand hygiene knowledge, beliefs and practices of Greek nursing and medical students', 7th annual Multi Disciplinary Conference, Coraki, NSW, 24-25 October, Southern Cross University, Lismore.

Abstract

Background: Profession appears to influence adherence to hand hygiene (HH) guidelines amongst healthcare workers. This may be partly due to methods of HH education and assessment during undergraduate education.

Methods: A questionnaire was administered to 90 nursing and 60 medical students in their final undergraduate year at the University of Athens, Greece, to determine their HH knowledge, beliefs and practices. The response rates were 85.6% and 36%.

Results: Nursing students’ HH knowledge was significantly higher than that of medical students (p = 0.000). Nursing students had more positive beliefs about HH (p = 0.005), a greater perception that HH was important in their curriculum (p = 0.004), were more likely to be taught using a greater number of methods and resources (p = 0.001), and were assessed significantly more often on HH than medical students (p = 0.000). Students with greater HH knowledge and a greater sense of the importance given to HH in the curriculum, with more positive beliefs about HH, and who rated HH teaching strategies more effective, scored higher on the HH practices scale (p=0.000).

Conclusions: Improving HH education and assessment in undergraduate courses may provide a means of improving graduates’ HH behaviour in the workplace.

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