Hand hygiene is the most effective method for preventing nosocomial infections. Numerous educational interventions have been implemented to improve adherence to hand hygiene and its effectiveness among nursing students, with mixed results. To assess the effectiveness of posters as a tool for teaching hand hygiene and factors associated with the quality of hand hygiene among nursing students.
An experimental pre-post intervention study was carried out with second-, third-, and fourth-year nursing students randomly assigned to two groups (experimental and control). The two groups performed the handrubbing technique using alcohol-based hand rub. The experimental group was simultaneously shown the poster on hand hygiene produced by the WHO. Before and after the hand rubbing, students took cell samples from their non-dominant hands, which were cultured in Petri dishes for 48 hours. The number of bacterial colony-forming units per cm2 determined the degree of cleanliness of their hands (< 10 = pass; ≥10 = fail).
A total of 293 students participated. In the experimental group (n = 161), significant differences were observed by age, with a higher percentage of fails (15.7% vs. 3.6%) among students aged > 22 years. Viewing the poster was associated with passing, all other variables being equal, albeit without statistical significance (ORa = 2.07). Hand contamination prior to the practices was weakly associated with lower hand hygiene quality (ORa = .99).
The use of posters as a teaching method for improving hand hygiene shows indications of effectiveness. Prior contamination of the hands slightly affects the quality of hand hygiene after the practice. Evaluation of new hand hygiene teaching methods at College setting ensures that future nurses are educated and sensitised to the spread of infectious diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic.