Physiotherapist adherence to standard precautions: Knowledge and practice

Mr Samuel Agars1, Ms Megan Brown1

1Wollongong Hospital Islhd, Wollongong, Australia

Introduction

Standard precautions (SP) are fundamental in preventing the transmission of micro-organisms. Most research to date has addressed compliance and competencies specific to nursing and medical staff. However, allied health practitioners, specifically physiotherapists (PT), have significant contact with patients across various clinical areas and subsequently have an important role in the prevention of infection.

Method

SP knowledge was gathered via a written quantitative survey and an observational audit was completed on PT engaged in patient contact. Key questions in the audit were; is there direct patient contact, is the PT using a plastic apron, is there potential contact with blood and body substances, is the PT wearing gloves.

Results

PTs demonstrated a sound theoretical knowledge of SP. Preliminary results show a discrepancy between PT knowledge of standard precautions and their behaviours in clinical practice, particularly with apron use. PT compliance with SP averaged 60%.

Conclusion

It is expected that the results of this project will inform future education strategies and projects to strengthen the practice of standard precautions in the PT group.

Nil conflicts of interest