KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICE OF STANDARD PRECAUTIONS AMONG NEONATAL INTENSIVE CARE UNIT HEALTHCARE WORKERS OF MISURATA TEACHING HOSPITAL, LIBYA
M, Abdelazeem A
Ismail, Maryem E
Mostafa, Asmaa I
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Nosocomial infections persist as a major problem in neonatal intensive care units. Neonates in the NICU are vulnerable to many nosocomial infections from multiple devices for treating or monitoring their care. Thus, healthcare workers should have sound knowledge and strict adherence to infection control standard precautions. To assess the knowledge and prac-tice of standard precautions among neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) healthcare workers in Misurata teaching hospital. A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out on a sample of 28 consenting doctors, nurses and laboratory scientists in Neonatal Intensive Care Units of Misurata Teaching Hospital, Libya, during the period from March to May 2015. Data was collected through two tools: a) Structured questionnaire to assess knowledge level about standard precautions; and b) Performance observational checklist to assess practice of standard precautions. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 18. Majority of the studied HCWs are females (71.4%), belonged to the age group of 20-30 years (57.1%), with work experi-ence less than 10 years (64.3%) and only 21.4% received infection control training. The overall mean knowledge score toward standard precautions is 68.4%, but mean practice score is 47.4%. And all scores are significantly lower among those who were non-trained. 89.3% of staff had good awareness in hand hygiene moments, 53.6% aware of hand washing steps, but only 32.1% actually practiced it right. While 85.7% of the staff had knowledge in use of personal protective equipments and fresh gloves, only 67.8% wore in practice. 53.6% knows about oral health care practices protocol, only 35.7% actually did it. 75% of the staff are aware of sterile technique in CVC care, 57.1% followed catheter care practices as per protocol. 64.3% are aware how to dispose wastes and sharps off in a right way, 46.3% did it frequently. While 85.7% are satisfied about instruments sterilization, only 39.3% of HCW reported that NICU environment is clean. There is inadequate knowledge and poor compliance with standard precautions of infection control among NICU health-care staff in Libya. It is very important to develop infection control policy and protocols that strengthen the training of HCW in standard precautions to improve not only their knowledge but also their practice.