Background: Hand hygiene has been recognized as an upfront yet a vital practice that halts the transmission of nosocomial contagions or healthcare-associated diseases in hospital locations. In healthcare organizations, hand hygiene is an important component of contagion prevention and protects patients' safety as a low-cost intervention.
Objectives: The objective of the present study was to evaluate hand hygiene practices among public health nurses in Trauma and Specialist Hospital and Winneba Municipal Hospital in the Effutu Municipality in the Central Region of Ghana.
Methods: This study employed a quantitative approach with a descriptive cross-sectional design. Structured questionnaires were used to collect data from 100 respondents through simple random sampling technique. Data analysis was done using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), version 21.
Results: Findings revealed a low level of knowledge on hand hygiene (45%) among the respondents and a high hand hygiene practice (79%). Most of the respondents always washed their hands immediately after a risk of body fluid exposure (95%) and few always washed their hands before touching a patient (60%). Most of the respondents always rubbed soap on wet hands before rinsing (78%) and few of them always allowed their hands to dry (16%). The barriers which prevented most of the respondents from washing their hands in the health facility were busy work schedules (65%), forgetfulness (61%), lack of hand hygiene resources in the health facility (38%), minimal patient contact (37%) and lack of knowledge on hand hygiene (13%).
Conclusion: Respondents in this study exhibited a low level of knowledge on hand hygiene yet, hand hygiene practice among them was found to be somewhat satisfactory. The study recommends that multifaceted and dedicated efforts must be made to rectify the barriers which impede public health nurses from effectively complying with hand hygiene practices in the health facilities.