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Health care/social assistance | Workplace exposures

Nursing students observe lack of infection control practices: study

September 18, 2013

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London – Non-compliance with infection prevention and control practices may be common among hospital workers, suggests a new study from Cardiff University and City University, London.

The study involved a survey of 488 Royal College of Nursing students, all of whom reported seeing at least one instance of a worker not following infection control procedures. Hand hygiene was the biggest issue, with more than 75 percent of students reporting that a worker did not wash his or her hands between patients, according to a press release from the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, which published the study.

Other unsafe behaviors cited in the study include workers wearing nail polish or nail extensions, not changing personal protective clothing between patients, improperly handling and disposing of sharp instruments, and touching their face or biting their nails while treating patients.

However, researchers noted the study was limited by the small sample of students.

The study was published in the September issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.