Teaching consistent hand hygiene: How can we improve?

Samantha K Baggett, Teresa Gore, Bonnie K. Sanderson, Chetan S. Sankar


Background: Hand hygiene is the simplest, most effective measure for preventing nosocomial infections. However, this technique is not consistently translated into clinical practice. Educators must first evaluate current practices to determine what has been effective, what changes need to occur, how to evaluate, and what evidence provides guidelines for best practices.

Methods: This article examines current practices of instructing hand hygiene and describes teaching and evaluation strategies used in a nursing fundamental didactic and laboratory course. Instructors used educational strategies, lab practice, and mock hospital simulations to teach and evaluate hand hygiene compliance in the clinical setting. The authors used Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory during both lecture and lab to analyze the effectiveness of hand hygiene education and compliance during evaluations of undergraduate nursing students. Different simulation techniques were evaluated to determine implementations for future improvement.

Conclusion: Educators must continue to combine didactic courses and simulations labs to enhance the knowledge and improve skills of undergraduate nursing students. Educators must mentor each other and define clear objectives before teaching a lab simulation or lecture. More research is needed as to what specific concepts should be taught using learning and theoretical models that will ultimately improve patient safety through hand hygiene compliance when nurses go out into their practice settings.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v4n1p200

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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