Hand Washing Practice among Health Care Workers in a Teaching Hospital.
ABSTRACT Background: Health care associated infection has been identified as one of the major challenges of modern medicine and remains as a major health concern around the globe. Hands of the health-care workers are potential vehicle for transmission of pathogenic organisms within the healthcare environment. Hand washing is widely accepted as one of the most effective measures in prevention of health care associated infections. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the hand washing practice among the doctors, intern doctors, nurses, medical students and nursing students in a multi specialty, non government tertiary care teaching hospital in Kathmandu. Summary statistics and chi-square tests were performed and the type I error was set at 0.05 for analysis. Results: Out of the total 336 participants of the study, there was significant difference in hand washing practice among the participants (P<0.001). Hand washing practice both before and after the patient examination was found to be highest among the nursing students followed by the nurses. The frequency of hand washing after exposure to hospital instruments, blood or other body fluids among the participants was remarkably high (more than 90%) in all groups. Nearly 99% of the participants agreed upon the fact that hand washing could be an effective measure in preventing health care associated infections. Conclusions: The healthcare workers understand the importance of hand washing but tend to wash their hands selectively depending upon the indications. The majority of the health care workers wash their hands after the patient care than before. Keywords: hand washing; healthcare workers; hospital infection; Nepal.