Mastery of the World Health Organization’s techniques of handwashing by the nursing students at the University of Namibia

Amakali Kristofina, Ndjalo Peneyayambeko


Hand hygiene practice is essential to prevent cross infection during health care delivery. Poor hand hygiene by health care providers can be a source of hospital acquired infections among patients.  In their first year of studies, nursing students are taught the skills of correct hand washing according to the World Health Organization (WHO)’s techniques to prevent cross infection.   Hence, they are expected to demonstrate the mastery of hand hygiene practice and to apply the skills in clinical practice when providing care to patients. A quantitative, cross sectional descriptive study assessed the practice of hand hygiene by the second year nursing students at the University of Namibia (UNAM), main campus during their placement in clinical practice. The primary quantitative data was gathered through a structured questionnaire with the sections on the students’ demographic and the practice of hand washing according to the WHO set standards. The findings revealed that in exemption to the few (33%), the majority (67%) of the participants have low compliance with hand hygiene practice. In conclusion, recommendations were made with regard to teaching, environmental factors, processes of caring and attitudes of health care staff which may influence the practice of hand hygiene by the nursing students.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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