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Handwashing in a Hospital Setting Research Question......…

Does handwashing in a hospital setting help to prevent the spread of nosocomial infections among the patient population?

The hypothesis for this research project is that hand washing in a hospital setting helps prevent nosocomial infections among the patient population.

The purpose of the research is to look at effective ways to promote routine, effective hand washing in the hospital setting, and look at its effect on nosocomial infection rates.

The assumptions are that there will be nosocomial infections occurring in the population of patients studied during the time frame of the study, and that sufficient numbers of them occur to reach statistical relevance. It is also assumed that it will be possible to trace these infections to the doctors or nurses treating the patients to show the connection. Another assumption is that, if nosocomial infections do occur in the patients studied, that they will be traced to doctors and nurses with a lower level of hand hygiene than that practiced on patients who do not contract nosocomial infections.

The limitations of the study will be the time frame of the study; the number of nurses and doctors taking part in the study; and the number of patients involved.

Nosocomial infection - an infection acquired in a hospital

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in early 2003 approved the use of alcohol-based hand rubs as an accepted method for cleaning hands between patients (CDC, 2003, 5-6). This differs from their previous recommendations because there is now enough scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of alcohol-based rubs. The guidelines also state that handwashing with soap and water remains a sensible strategy for hand hygiene in non-healthcare settings, and that when the hands of healthcare workers are visibly washed, they should use soap and water to clean them.

The CDC also reminded people that the use of gloves does not eliminate...

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