ASSESSMENT OF KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICES REGARDING INFECTION CONTROL MEASURES: A CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDY IN TWO TERTIARY CARE HOSPITALS OF PESHAWAR KP, PAKISTAN

Main Article Content

Tahira Nawaz
Hassan Karim
Safia Nawaz
Annas khan

Keywords

Infection Control, knowledge, practice, Nurses, Hygiene

Abstract

Introduction: Infection related to health care especially in hospitals has been pointed as a risk that threatens patient safety. It is among the leading cause of morbidity and mortality representing an important public health problem. Healthcare-related infections have a considerable impact on the morbidity and mortality rates in the intra- and extra-hospital environment, resulting in an increase in the time spent and costs of hospitalization, and are thus recognized as a serious world public health problem. Health care providers are constantly exposed to microorganism. Many of which can cause serious or even lethal infections. Nurses in particular are often exposed to microorganisms when carrying out nursing interventions. Knowledge and Practice regarding infection control measures in different countries vary and depends upon various factors.


Objective: To assess Knowledge and Practices Regarding Infection Control Measures


Methodology: This cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted in two tertiary care hospitals in Peshawar, KP, Pakistan, to explore Knowledge and Practices about Infection Control measures. A sample of 158 participants, including staff nurses, student nurses, and head nurses, was selected using convenience sampling technique. Data was collected via a 20-item questionnaire including questions from infection control measures, personal protective equipment, and biomedical waste management. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS version 22, calculating means and standard deviations for continuous data and frequencies and percentages for categorical data.


Results: The demographic data showed that 73.08% of participants were staff nurses, 14.74% were student nurses, and 12.18% were head nurses. Key findings revealed that 35.14% of participants examined patients bare-handed, 29.73% varied their approach, and 40% practiced correct hand-washing techniques in operating theaters. Additionally, 43% rated their hygiene knowledge as satisfactory. Awareness of WHO hand-washing techniques was high at 95.83%, with varying awareness of the proper use of medical masks, gloves, gowns, and aprons/eye protection. Regarding biomedical waste management, 75% of participants understood the hazards and legislation, and 81% followed color-coding practices. Needle-stick injuries were a concern for 72% of respondents, with 58% reporting such injuries in the past year. Overall, there was strong awareness and adherence to infection control measures and PPE guidelines, though variability existed in practices and satisfaction with hygiene knowledge and waste management.


Conclusion: Infection in healthcare facilities remains a major concern in developing countries. Our study identified key barriers to effective infection control, particularly the improper use of PPE such as gowns and eye protection. Despite availability, healthcare workers often misuse these items, increasing infection risk. Enhanced training, stricter PPE protocol enforcement, and continuous monitoring are urgently needed to improve infection control and safeguard health.

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