Utilization of personal protective equipment and associated factors among nurses at Thika Level 5 Hospital
The incidence of infections among nurses is increasing tremendously in the world, with the highest percentage from the third world countries. Hospital-acquired infections have been recognized as a problem affecting the quality of health care and a principal source of adverse healthcare outcomes. Hospital-acquired infection occurs due to poor utilization of PPE among healthcare workers. This study examined the utilization of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) among nurses in Thika level 5 hospital, Kiambu County, Kenya. Specifically, the study looked into the influence of knowledge about PPE, attitudes towards the use of PPE, and health facility-related factors on the utilization of PPE. A cross-sectional survey design was adopted in the present study to collect quantitative and qualitative data in line with the study objectives. The study population was 246 nurses working in Thika level 5 hospitals and with more than 6 months of experience. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used in line with the study hypotheses. Regression results revealed that all the three variables (knowledge about PPE, attitudes towards use of PPE, and health facility-related factors) were all significant predictors of utilization of PPE among nurses. In addition, attitude towards the use of PPE was found to be the most significant predictor of utilization of PPE. Knowledge about PPE is critical to the utilization of PPE. Positive attitudes would enhance the utilization of PPE. Health facility-related factors are important towards the utilization of PPE by health care workers. Based on the study conclusions, the researcher recommends the management of hospitals should ensure that nurses are well trained by planning for periodical training, and when doing so, to utilize experts. For hospitals aiming to reduce or avoid healthcare worker acquired infections or nurses acquired infections, the management should invest more to develop ways of enhancing positive attitudes among nurses. More attention should be paid to the importance of utilizing PPE and the consequences for doing the contrary. Besides, the management of hospitals should ensure that, at all times, recommended PPE is available and accessible.