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Keywords:

  • handwashing;
  • hospital infection;
  • neonatal intensive care unit;
  • nurse;
  • observation

Caglar S, Yıldız S, Savaser S. International Journal of Nursing Practice 2010; 16: 132–137 Observation results of handwashing by health-care workers in a neonatal intensive care unit

This research was conducted as a descriptive study to determine the status of handwashing, which is important and an effective method of preventing and controlling hospital infections, by health-care workers in a neonatal intensive care unit and to make recommendations based on the results. The research sample included 28 health-care workers (physicians and nurses) who agreed to participate voluntarily in the study. A total of 344 observations were made of situations requiring handwashing. The health-care workers' handwashing compliance rate was 58.14% and no statistically significant difference between physicians and nurses was found in whether or not handwashing was done. However the percentage of handwashing compliance was higher for the nurses (62.50%) than for the physicians (52.63%). In the analysis of handwashing technique and duration, the physicians (23.75%) had a higher percentage of correct technique and duration than the nurses (13.33%), but the difference was not statistically significant.