Background: Appropriately implemented, hand hygiene can prevent nosocomial infections, but there is a lack of research on the effect of specific nurse-patient ratios on hand hygiene compliance rates. Furthermore, there have been few studies of infection control practices in Jordanian hospitals.
Methods: One hundred registered nurses from a private health care setting in Jordan who worked in intensive care units and medical-surgical wards participated. Two methods, videotaping and self-report, were used to collect data on hand hygiene. Subjects also completed a questionnaire to assess hand hygiene behavior, attitudes, and beliefs.
Results: The overall hand hygiene compliance rate was 32%. Nurse-patient ratios affected hand hygiene before beginning patient care only. The lowest hand hygiene compliance rates were in intensive care units when the nurse-patient ratio was less than 1:2. Females had higher compliance rates than males.
Conclusions: The observed low level of overall hand hygiene compliance, lower compliance rates in higher acuity settings, and gender-related differences in compliance are consistent with findings from previous studies of hand hygiene over the past 2 decades.
From the *School of Nursing, Hashemite University, Zarqa, Jordan and †School of Nursing, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL.
Reprints: Zeinab M. Hassan, RN, PhD, PO Box 150459, Zarqa 13115, Jordan. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.