Compliance With Standard Guidelines for the Prevention of Occupational Transmission of Bloodborne and Airborne Pathogens: A Survey of Postanesthesia Nursing Practice.

Journal of continuing education in nursing

PubMedID: 24467233

Tait AR, Voepel-Lewis T, Tuttle DB, Malviya S. Compliance With Standard Guidelines for the Prevention of Occupational Transmission of Bloodborne and Airborne Pathogens: A Survey of Postanesthesia Nursing Practice. J Contin Educ Nurs. 2000;31(1):38-44.
ABSTRACTBackground: Postanesthesia care unit (PACU) nurses' compliance with the guidelines for prevention of exposure to HIV, hepatitis B and C viruses (HBV, HCV), and tuberculosis (TB) were evaluated.Method: A questionnaire was administered to 34 adult and pediatric PACU nurses at a large, tertiary care medical center.Results: Eighty-one percent (n = 26) of respondents reported they always complied with the guidelines when caring for a HIV-infected or HBV-infected patient, but only 31.3% (n = 10) complied when the patient was considered low risk (p < .05). The most commonly cited reasons for noncompliance were no anticipated blood contact (53.6%, n = 15 ) or being too busy (25%, n = 10). Nineteen percent (n = 6) of PACU nurses reported at least one clean needlestick, and 16.1% (n = 5) reported a contaminated needlestick within the previous 12 months. One nurse reported having acquired active TB from a patient contact.Conclusion: Results suggest that, although the PACU nurses surveyed reported knowledge of the standard guidelines, this was not always reflected in their practice. Identification of barriers to compliance may be important in developing educational strategies to reduce the risk to nurses.