(HealthDay News) – UK nursing students report a solid understanding of infection control policies and compliance, or lack thereof, based on preclinical classroom instruction, according to a study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

Dinah Gould, PhD, RN, from Cardiff University in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted an online survey of a national sample of student nurses (488 participants) in the United Kingdom. The survey involved a fixed-choice, Likert-type scale with 19 items along with an open question to solicit more detailed information.

The researchers found that all participants reported lack of compliance for every item on the Likert scale, most frequently from community settings and long-term care facilities for older people. Failure to comply with hand hygiene protocols, failure to comply with isolation precautions, poor standards of cleaning in the patient environment, not changing personal protective clothing between patients, and poor management of sharp instruments were among the most commonly reported incidents. It was reported that qualified nurses were not good role models, but medical staff were the most heavily criticized for poor compliance.

“Students demonstrated sound understanding of infection control and were able to identify lack of compliance on the basis of preclinical classroom instruction,” the authors write.

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