Prévention des risques de transmission des infections : connaître les pratiques formelles et informelles du personnel hospitalier

Authors: Seifert, Ana Maria
Advisor: Ledoux, ÉliseO'Neill, Michel
Abstract: Preventing infections in health care facilities is a subject of current interest. Despite the promotion of prevention measures, it is well known that they are not completely applied. However, confining interest just to these lacunae does not provide a good handle on improving prevention, if we do not pay attention to other measures that hospital personnel may have developed spontaneously. The objective of the current research project is to describe formal and informal practices for preventing infection used by various categories of hospital personnel, as well as to explore the representations of risk related to their informal practices. The qualitative research approach used gives a systemic vision of prevention activities. We carried out 27 interviews and 186 hours of observation of experienced nursing staff, health care aides and hospital cleaning staff, in two short-term and two long-term hospital units in Montreal. The results show that prevention measures are not isolated acts, but part of a process that starts with risk identification based on three sets of information: patient contamination, environmental contamination and difficulties in interacting with patients. We have identified some measures developed by staff members that allow them to cope with situations where the prescribed procedures are felt to be insufficient; these measures reveal their hitherto-unrecognized skills and can be collective, showing the importance of joint work for infection prevention. The analysis of representations of risks related to Clostridium difficile shows that study participants feared transmitting it to patients and to their own families, and adopted specific prevention measures both at work and outside the workplace. Because of situations where prevention failed, some participants think they may be healthy carriers of that microorganism and fear infection may be activated if they become weak for any reason. Some aspects of work organization may also get in the way of their efforts: the absence of time for exchanging information, the presence of casual staff and the lack of training. We conclude that it is important to support prevention efforts based on collective strategies, that seem to have an interesting potential to prevent infections, and that it is necessary to take into account the preoccupations of staff during educational interventions targeting them.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2012
Open Access Date: 18 April 2018
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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