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Hand washing Research Paper

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Updated: Jun 5th, 2019

Problem identification

Hand hygiene is practice that nurses are expected to comply to in a hospital setting. Compliance levels need to be established so that as establishment is made against the reasons that leading to lack of compliance. Research and day-to-day observations have revealed that infections related to bacteria can be freely transmitted when contaminated hands of a physician contact patients (Stanzak, 2006, p. 154).

There is therefore great interest to establish the reasons that leads to trained nurses’ neglect or under compliance to hand hygiene practices to reduce infections to patients through contaminated hands. A point of interest in this study is related suspicions that lack of compliance could be related to workload of nurses. In addition, patients need only to battle with health conditions that led them to visit health care centers.

Lack of decontamination among health care staff escalates the risk of infections. Neglect of hand hygiene or hand washing among nurse therefore calls for setting of a standard of observing hand hygiene among nurses.

Hand hygiene non-compliance in not only observed among nurses, but is shockingly present among senior medical staff. An urgent need is required to bring down healthcare-associated infections within hospitals, with substantial attention on nurses.

Importance of the problem

Hand hygiene among nurses and other healthcare providers in a hospital center is important to the mitigation of infections. Infections are transmitted through contact with contaminated hands. According to Stanzak, (2006, p. 155.), there is a negligence of an alarming degree among nurses failure to comply with hand washing requirements.

This problem is of dire importance to the reduction of healthcare related infections among patients. It is estimated that close to 10% of patients get infections related to health-care. Medical studies show that over 30% of these infections can be curbed. In spite of the fact that control can be achieved, difficulties still present challenges to having nurses comply with the hand hygiene policies (Rickard, N.A, 2004, p. 404-410).

Nurses as health care workers need to be helped to achieve compliance with hand hygiene. The beneficiary is the patient when compliance is adhered to. This follows reduced infections.

Project objective

The main objective of the project is enhancing compliance of health care workers (nurses in particular) to hand hygiene in a healthcare environment. The achievement of high compliance levels reduces patient infections associated with negligence of hand hygiene observation by nurses.

The compliance targets the 10% infections reduction by over 90% through introduction of an education program. Infections of communicable diseases has drawn attention of people globally, leading to media such as medical and nursing joint presses to reach the public on the subject (Currie, 2005, p. 200).

Solution and description

The solution will be given a comprehensive education program targeting largely the health workers in health centers. Besides, patients too need to be included in the education program. This approach is the best since it has the capability of speeding up the awareness of the importance of hand hygiene to the prevention infection related to health care.

In addition, the education program not only targets the nurses and patients but also administration of the health facilities. Education to the administration intends to draw attention of workload and its suspected relationship to lack of compliance to hand hygiene.

The joint commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (2005) found that, “…education is key- education about the relationship of hand hygiene and infections.” (p. 22).

Solution to the problem

Description of the proposed solution

The problem will be solved by creation of awareness to the nursing population and as well as the patients. Through a comprehensive education program, three groups are targeted. In the first place, nurses must take center stage in the program. It is inevitable to create awareness to the nurses because they are the most likely group to transmit infection due to their contaminated hands.

The study proposes to assess the nurses at workplace for a period of two weeks. The assessment will be succeeded an education program designed to enhance hand hygiene practice among the nursing staff (Mallik, Hall, & Howard, 2009, pp. 112). Tests will be given to nurses and results used to measure the extent of compliance.

Low compliance results will call for proposing that nurses be given refresher seminars on hand hygiene after every three months in their careers. Patients will also be given up to date material information in order to act as polite reminders to forgetful nurses about hand hygiene.

Lastly, the administration will be given education sessions pertaining to their staffing and workload as a link to lack of compliance to hand hygiene. This solution expounds on the role of patients as agents of enhancing nurses to comply with policies of hand washing in hospitals. Lack of compliance puts patients within risk reach.

Consistence with current research

Hand washing practices are critical to the reduction in infections among patients. Nurses need to be guided to an awareness of the importance of hand hygiene through comprehensive education program.

Research has shown that up-to-date infection and prevention management of infections values hand washing among nurses in a healthcare setting (Friedman & Petersen, 2004, p. 8). From the information, hand hygiene awareness through comprehensive programs remains the favorite means of compliance to hand hygiene.

Feasibility of the solution

Comprehensive education program is justified as a feasible way to the solution. It is a highly proposed means of awareness creation for nurses and patients. In the light of education about infections in a healthcare setting, Joint Commission Resources seconds education as feasible (2007, p. 13-5). In addition, the solution is executed while in contact with the two key players in the program: nurses and patients.

This enhances cost reduction to materials used to educate the nurses and patients. Consequently, comprehensive education program stands out as the most appropriate approach to instilling a compliance culture among nurses’ hand hygiene practice.

Resources and culture consistency

The study poses no threat to resources and culture to any community setting. The intention is to create awareness of infections management and control through a comprehensive education program. Consequently, ethical or cultural bottlenecks are not a major concern. Besides, the setting in which the program is conducted is friendly to both nurses and their patients. In fact, cultures and hand hygiene go hand-in-hand.

Communities have been observed to perform hand washing as a purification requirement before performance of cultural beliefs at religious functions (Lautenbach, Woeltje, & Malani, 2010, p. 249). This boosts consistency by removing any suspicions of conducting such research in diverse communities. Resource availability will not course any strains during the entire program.


Currie, M. (2005). Fever hospitals and fever nurses: a British social history of fever nursing: a national service. New York: Routledge.

Friedman, C. & Petersen, K.H. (2004). Infection control in ambulatory. London: Jones & Bartlett.

Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health care Organizations. (2005). Infection control issues in the environment of care. Illinois: Joint commission publications.

Joint commission Resources. (2007). Staff education tools for the national patient safety goals. New York: Joint commission Publishers.

Lautenbach, E., Woeltje, K.F., & Malani, P. N. (2010). Practical healthcare Epidemiology. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Mallik, M., Hall, C., & Howard, D. (2009). Nursing knowledge and practice: foundations of decision making. London: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Rickard, N. A. (2004, April). Hand hygiene: Promoting compliance among nurses and health workers. British Journal of Nursing, 13(7), pp.404-410. Web.

Stanzak. R.K. (2006). Bottom line Medicine: a layman’s guide to evidence-based medicine. New York: Algora Publishing.

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