Hospital cleaners’ knowledge, attitude and practices and the influence of training regarding cleaning roles in two government hospitals in the Erongo Region, Namibia

Geurtze, Etheline Olivia (2022)


Abstract Introduction: Healthcare associated infections may arise following transfer of microorganisms from the hospital environment to patients. Effective cleaning and disinfection of hospital surfaces reduces the risk of pathogen transmission. This study explored the knowledge, attitudes and practises concerning their cleaning role and training influences of hospital cleaners at two governmental hospitals in the Erongo region, Namibia. Methods: A cross-sectional, mixed-methods design was used. Data were collected using a structured interviewer-administered questionnaire. Participants’ hospital cleaning knowledge, attitudes and practices were evaluated using quantitative analysis Open-ended questions explored their training experiences and thematic analysis was conducted. Results: Sixty-one hospital cleaners were interviewed. Eight participants (13,1%) received formal training. In terms of knowledge 68,9% knew they could carry germs without getting sick, and 55,7% reported that wearing gloves could sufficiently protect against germs. Sixty-five percent felt that they were not supported by other staff. In terms of practices, most of the reported challenges related to absence of necessary resources. Regarding the association between current knowledge, attitudes and practices and training, significant associations were shown for most measures. With regards to whether cleaners can protect themselves against germs without getting sick, and whether they can infect others with germs that they carry, knowledge levels were lowest for those with informal training (59,7%) and job-shadowing (60,1%) (p=0,01). Conclusion: This research study highlights limited formal training for hospital cleaners at two large Namibian hospitals, and demonstrates the need for formal training and better resource allocation of hospital cleaners who play a vital role in IPC and patient and healthcare worker safety

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