Knowledge, attitudes and practices of general assistants towards infection control at Letaba Hospital
Peta, Mmalahla Rebecca
Introduction - The implementation of infection prevention and control guidelines is important for the improvement of quality care in hospitals. This study aimed to identify gaps in the knowledge and attitudes of general assistants about infection control and to determine if their infection control practices are in line with current policies and guidelines. In investigating the practices of general assistants, the institution was assisted to identify gaps in knowledge and try to strengthen practices. Methodology: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted at Letaba hospital in Mopani district. The knowledge, attitudes and practices of 97 general assistants towards infection control at a given point in time was measured through a structured questionnaire which was administered to those who consented to participate. Purposive sampling was used as only those who were at work during the data collection period were included in the study. Results - This study revealed that over 50% of general assistants at Letaba hospital have only moderate knowledge about infection control. Fifty seven percent of general assistants reported moderately good infection control practices, while 23% practice infection control poorly. The majority (75%) of general assistants at Letaba hospital reported positive attitudes towards infection control. The results also show that the moderate score in knowledge affected the practice of infection control. Conclusion - This study shows that the knowledge and practice of infection at Letaba hospital is not optimal with regard to complying with infection control guidelines. It was, however, noted that attitudes towards infection control were good. Based on the fact that the attitudes were good, knowledge and practice can be improved with provision of appropriate supplies and strengthening training and supervision.
A research report submitted to the Faculty of Health Science, University of the Witwatersrand as partial fulfilment of the requirement of the degree in Masters of Public Health (Hospital Management) November 2014. Johannesburg, South Africa