Standard precaution knowledge and adherence: Do Doctors differ from Medical Laboratory Scientists?
Background: Doctors and laboratory scientists are at risk of infection from blood borne pathogens during routine clinical duties. After over 20 years of standard precautions, health care workers knowledge and compliance is not adequate.
Aim: This study is aimed at comparing adherence and knowledge of standard precautions (SP) among Medical Laboratory Scientists (MLSs) and doctors.
Methods: It was a cross sectional study done at University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, ItukuOzalla. A semi structured pre-tested questionnaire was the study instrument.
Results: General knowledge of SP was high,76.2% in doctors and 67.6% in MLSs although there were differences between the two groups on the knowledge of components of SP. Safe injection practices, use of personal protective equipment as well as safe handling of contaminated equipment or surfaces was higher amongst doctors. Even though more than half of respondents in both groups, 53.1 % among doctors and 58.1% among MLSs had received training on standard precautions, this did not reflect in the practice. MLS reported more use of personal protective equipment such as gloves and coveralls (100% in MLS and 35% of doctors), P<0.001. Recapping of syringes was higher amongst doctors (63.6%) than MLS (55.1%).The doctors practiced better hand hygiene than MLS (P<0.001). Constraints that affected SP included non-availability of PPEs and emergency situations for both groups.
Conclusion: SP knowledge and practice are still low, and as such, there is a need to train doctors and MLS on the components of SP. Policies on SP need to be enforced and facilities for practice regularly supplied.