Methods: This study included a whole generation of second year undergraduate nursing students, comprised of 161 female and 25 male participants (186 in total), from a public university in Croatia (University Centre Varaždin, University North). They were given an anonymous questionnaire (developed on the model used by Tavolacci et al. in 2008) covering three domains: General Knowledge of HAI, Standard Precautions (SP) and Hand Hygiene (HH). The acceptable score overall (max. 30) and for each area (max. 10) was arbitrarily set at ≥ 20 and ≥ 7, respectively (in accordance with prior research).
Results: The age range of surveyed students was 19-37 (mean: 21.97, median: 21, mod: 20). An accurate definition of nosocomial infections was provided by 98.92% students (with 60.75% of them defining it as the infection occurring 48 hours after hospital admission). The overall score was 21.5, which indicates sufficient level of applied knowledge of healthcare-associated infections. Very high level of knowledge was observed for the SP area (total score of 9.5); however, the level of knowledge in HAI and HH domains was inadequate (5.9 and 6.1, respectively). There was no statistically significant difference in the overall or specific scores between male and female students (p > 0.05). Formal teaching during the curriculum was students' primary source of information (60.22%), followed by practical learning in the ward during work (23.65%), formal teaching in the ward (9.68%) and self-learning (6.45%).
Conclusion: Periodical checking of nursing students' knowledge on HAI and corresponding curriculum modifications in obligatory courses tackling this topic are advised in order to fill the knowledge gaps, improve training, reduce infection rates and increase compliance with prevention measures.
M. Neuberg, None
R. Ribic, None