Knowledge, awareness and practice of infection control by health care workers in the intensive care units of a tertiary hospital in Nigeria
Background: Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), one of the leading causes of, morbidity and mortality, are common in developing countries. Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), commonest cause of HAIs, has been isolated from the hands of more than half of health care workers. Practice of hand hygiene may help in the control of nosocomial infections. We evaluated the practice of infection control among health care workers in the intensive care unit (ICU) of our hospital.
Materials and methods: This is a descriptive cross-sectional study. Information on knowledge, awareness and practice of infection control in the ICU were obtained from health care workers with the aid of a structured questionnaire.
Results: Sixty nine out of the 80 (86%) respondents had good knowledge that a hand is the most common vehicle of transmission of infection. However, 53.8% and 32.5% of the respondents had knowledge of movement of hand hygiene and practiced six steps of the hand washing technique respectively. Though, physicians accounted for 68 (85%) of the respondents, only 28% of them practiced the six steps of the hand washing technique with resident doctors constituting a large proportion of hand washing technique defaulters. Only 13.9% of non-physician and 7.5% of physician respondents had ever attended a training program on infection control respectively.
Conclusion: Knowledge and awareness of infection control among the health care workers in our ICU is good but the practice is poor. Training workshop on infection control should be organized for all ICU health care workers to reduce nosocomial infections.
Keywords: Knowledge, practice, healthcare workers, hospital acquired infections, intensive care unit, infection control.