Title

Environmental Hygiene, Knowledge and Cleaning Practice: A Phenomenological Study of Nurses and Midwives During COVID-19

Author Faculty (Discipline)

Nursing

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-1-2021

Early Online Version

4-26-2021

JOURNAL

American Journal of Infection Control

VOLUME NUMBER

49

ISSUE NUMBER

9

PAGE NUMBERS

1123-1128

ISSN

0196-6553

Embargo Period

9-2-2022

ANZSRC / FoR Code

4202 Epidemiology

Avondale Research Centre

Lifestyle and Health Research Centre

Reportable Items (HERDC/ERA)

C1

Abstract

Background: Environmental cleanliness is a fundamental tenet in nursing and midwifery but often over-shadowed in practice. This study explored nurses’and midwives’knowledge and experiences of infection prevention and control (IPC) processes and cleaning, and perceptions about workplace risk-management
during COVID-19.
Methods: Six registered and enrolled nurses (one with dual midwife qualifications) were recruited. In-depth telephone interviews were analyzed using Colaizzi's phenomenological method.
Results: Four major themes were identified: Striving towards environmental cleanliness; Knowledge and learning feeds good practice; There's always doubt in the back of your mind; and COVID has cracked it wide open. These articulate the nurses’and midwives’experiences and knowledge of IPC, particularly during
COVID-19.
Discussion: The findings emphasize the dynamic, interdependent nature of clinical (time, staff knowledge and compliance, work processes, hospital design) and organizational contexts and environmental cleanliness, which must be constantly maintained. COVID-19 opened up critical insights regarding poor past practices and lack of IPC compliance.
Conclusions: COVID-19 has highlighted the criticality of environmental cleanliness within clinical and community settings. Evidence-based, experiential learning is important for nurses and midwives at all career stages, but provides only one solution. Clinician-led hospital design may also reduce the spread of infection; thus, promoting better patient care

Link to publisher version (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2021.04.080

Peer Review

Before publication

Comments

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At the time of writing Philip Russo was affiliated with Cabrini Institute and Avondale University.


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