Knowledge, Attitudes and Compliance of Nursing Staff with Occupational Risk Prevention Guidelines in the Hospital

Introduction: Nursing Staff (NS) working in the hospital are exposed to a variety of occupational hazards, such as physical, chemical, biological, ergonomic and psychosocial ones. The use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) every time that an exposure to an occupational hazard is possible is an issue of great importance. However, there is data that argue the systematic use of PPE by the NS. Purpose: To determine the knowledge, attitudes and compliance of NS to the use of PPE and the prevention of occupational hazards within the hospital setting. Materials and Methods: An electronic database search was conducted, using the key words «nurses», «knowledge», «nurses attitudes», «occupational health», «occupational safety», «safety guidelines», «compliance», «personal protective equipment». The inclusion criteria included the non- interventional studies, the publication in Greek and English language, after the year 1990, and the studies with access to full text. All research studies included in the review were about the knowledge, the attitudes and the compliance of the NS (or nursing students) and the guidelines about occupational health and safety and the use of PPE. Results: The knowledge and compliance of NS related to the preventive measures of biological occupational hazards are the most investigated to date, followed by the chemical occupational hazards. The PPE more frequently used by the NS included gloves, and less often masks and goggles. A small percentage of the NS uses PPE every time that an exposure to pathogens is possible, and PPE is used only when the patient is diagnosed with a communicable disease. The percentages of exposures to pathogens and of injuries are very high, while the percentage of NS and nursing students’ compliance to prevention measures is low. Conclusions: NS appears to have wrong knowledge and low compliance to several issues about occupational hazards within hospital settings. The knowledge and compliance of the NS and also the percentage of occupational exposures and injuries could perhaps be significantly improved with systematic educational programs, according to the staff’s expectations and existing knowledge.

Category: Volume 52, N 2
Hits: 171 Hits
Created Date: 15-06-2013
Authors: Copanitsanou Panagiota , Sourtzi Panayota