Knowledge about nosocomial pneumonia prevention among critical care nurses in New Zealand

Soh, Kim Lam
Koziol-McLain, Jane
Wilson, Jan
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Master of Health Science
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Auckland University of Technology

Nosocomial pneumonia (NP) is the most common nosocomial infection in the Critical Care Units (CCUs), comprising 15 to 23 percent of all hospital-acquired infections. Among all nosocomial infections, NP has the highest mortality rate ranging from 13 to 55 percent. NP prolongs hospital stays, increases health care costs and increases the mortality rate of patients in CCUs. Critical Care Nurses (CCNs) spend more time with patients than do other health care providers and they have an important role in preventing infection. Having adequate knowledge about NP prevention will help CCNs be sensitive to any changes in the patient’s condition and also to their environment. Consequently, it will help to reduce the rates of NP.

The objectives of this study were to determine the level of knowledge that CCNs in New Zealand have regarding NP and its prevention. The study also determined whether nurses’ knowledge level correlates with certain nurse characteristics. This is a quantitative research design using a survey method. A self-administered questionnaire was used to determine whether nurses working in CCUs in New Zealand are knowledgeable about the prevention of NP as indicated in the literature and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

The mean score for knowledge about risk factors of NP was .67; for knowledge about devices .45 and for knowledge about prevention .43. Nurse characteristics did not correlate with level of NP knowledge. Overall, CCNs in New Zealand have a moderate level of knowledge about NP prevention although several important deficits were identified. This study showed that few CCNs have been exposed to NP prevention education, guidelines, and research.

Nurses -- Health and hygiene , Intensive care nursing , Respiratory organs -- Diseases -- Nursing , Respiratory Tract Diseases
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