Nurses Knowledge and Perceptions Regarding Universal Safety Precautions within the Paediatric Setting

AuthorFelicity Sciberras
AbstractUniversal safety precautions are simple infection control measures that reduce the risk of transmission of bloodborne pathogens through exposure to blood or body fluids among patients and health care workers (World Health Organisation (WHO) 2006). Although these precautions are simple to adopt, the literature revealed that nurses' knowledge and compliance with the universal safety precautions within the hospital setting is sub-optimal. The purpose of this study was to explore the nurses' perceptions and knowledge in relation to these universal safety precautions within the paediatric setting. Additionally, measures which can promote compliance with these precautions within the hospital setting were also documented. This study was carried out at the local general hospital on the two paediatric wards. A descriptive non-experimental research design was adopted. The sample consisted of ten nurses and data was collected through structured interviews. Interpretation of the nurses' responses was mainly performed through content analysis. This study revealed that the nurses' knowledge regarding the universal safety precautions components is variable. The main finding of this study revealed that these nurses lack perception of risk because the way they perceive children influences their adoption of universal safety precautions since the nurses under study do not regard children as high risk patients.

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Key wordsNurses, Knowledge, Perception, Universal Precautions, Paediatrics, Thesis

Compiled by: Dr. I. Stabile    Dr. J. Pace