Universal precautions guideline: self-reported compliance by gastroenterologists and gastrointestinal endoscopy nurses–a decade's lack of progress

Angtuaco, Terence L.; Oprescu, Florinela G.; Lal, Sunil K.; Pennington, Jaymie H.; Russell, Brady D.; Co, Jennifer M.; Howden, Colin W.
November 2003
American Journal of Gastroenterology;Nov2003, Vol. 98 Issue 11, p2420
Academic Journal
: ObjectivesThe aims of this study were to assess and compare the Universal Precaution (UP) practices of gastroenterologists (GE) and GI endoscopy nurses (GIEN).: MethodsWe mailed a 23-item questionnaire to 250 GE and GIEN selected, respectively, from the American Board of Internal Medicine online directory and the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates membership directory.: ResultsA total of 77 (31%) GE and 157 (60%) GIEN responded. In all, 32% of GE and 50% of GIEN washed their hands before and after handling every patient (p < 0.01), and 5% of GE and 30% of GIEN wore gloves during all patient contacts (p < 0.01). Fewer GE than GIEN used face shields for all procedures (14% vs 21%; p = 0.02). Protective gowns were worn during all procedures by 29% of GE and 46% of GIEN (p < 0.01). More GE than GIEN either did not recap used needles or used the one-handed “scoop” technique (85% vs 77%; p = 0.02). When asked to give an overall assessment, 46% of GE and 60% of GIEN reported that they always complied with UP (p = 0.06). Profession, age, gender, hours of daily patient contact, and adequacy of staffing did not affect compliance.: ConclusionsGIEN adhered to UP recommendations better than GE regarding most items queried except in the handling of used needles. Nonetheless, for both groups, compliance with proper hand washing and use of gloves, face shields, and gowns was very poor, and handling of used needles was satisfactory.


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