Abstract of Dissertation

Agency : Standard Precautions, Blood-Borne Infections, Needle Stick Injury, Hand Hygiene

Objective : The present study was thus conducted with the following objectives: 1) To identify the gap between knowledge and practice of standard precautions. 2) To determine the perceived barriers against adherence to the standard precautions. 3) To assess the present immunization status of staff and their knowledge on post-exposure prophylaxis for HIV, HBV and other blood borne infections. 4) To analyze the varying levels of knowledge gaps and respective training needs among different categories of healthcare providers. Research Methodology A cross-sectional analytical study conducted in a government Sub-District Civil Hospital, Rajpura, (Punjab) among the healthcare workers Study included healthcare providers of hospital directly or indirectly involved in patient care viz, doctors, nurses, technicians, community healthcare worker and housekeeping. A 25 itemed self – administered questionnaire was administered and an observational checklist used to assess the Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of healthcare workers towards standard precautions. The data from the questionnaire and checklist were coded, entered into SPSS and descriptive statistics, chisquare (p=0.05%).

Findings : About half (38.02%) of the respondents had fair knowledge of universal precautions while 26.7% had good knowledge. Whereas about one-third (35.1 percent) of the respondents had poor knowledge about standard precautions. A significant relationship exists between knowledge of standard precautions and occupation status; doctors (90.5 percent), nurses (73.07 percent), technicians (66.7percent) and community health workers (66.7 percent) were knowledgeable of Standard Precautions. The level of awareness of Standard precautions was significantly associated with many factors. Respondents with experience of 10 years and above (88.9%) reported higher levels of awareness of universal precautions compared with those less than 5 years experience (51%).

Recommendations : The knowledge of standard precautions among the healthcare providers is dependent on the occupational status and work experience. But the practice of the staff is independent of these factors.

Health care workers (HCWs) are at risk of various occupational hazards in the hospital, including exposure to blood borne infections such as HIV and hepatitis B and C virus (HBV and HCV) infection from sharps injuries and contact with body fluids. Standard precautions are a set of measures formulated to prevent transmission of blood borne pathogens while providing healthcare to patients directly or indirectly. It therefore, becomes importance to assess the level of knowledge and compliance with standard precautions by the various types of HCWs (doctors, trained nurses, pharmacist, laboratory, scientist, other health workers, and domestic staff) who make direct or indirect contact with patients, and level of compliance by HCWs in the various types of health facilities. Injection safety and Hand hygiene has been cited frequently as the single most important practice to reduce the transmission of infectious agents in healthcare settings and is an essential element of Standard Precautions.