The Lack of Handwashing Problem Among Nurses

Research Support

There is an urgent need of providing an utterly feasible solution to the lack of handwashing problem among nurses. The practice is observed to be distributed to physicians in hospitals’ bedside nurses. Parts A and B emphasize the extent of the problem, particularly about opportunistic infections from contaminated hands. Due to the nature of the problem, the proposed solution objectively needs to address this rampant trend among nurses and other health care providers. Hand washing is an aspect of professionalism among nurses.

Specific measures have to be put in place during addressing the problem. These measures back up the proposed solution in several ways. In the first place, there must be an increase in knowledge of nurses concerning compliance to handwashing practice among the nurses. The solution proposes a comprehensive education program as an appropriate measure to the enhancement of handwashing practices among nurses. The second measure proposed is related to the provision of a plausible and lasting solution based on the workload of the nurses. The current study provides a solution proposal that there may be a link between workload per nurse and their negligence to the practice of handwashing. In support of the research, these two measures seek to reconcile the knowledge gap between the practice of handwashing and contaminated-hands-related infections. The benefits are tangible. This lies in the argument that reduction in infection cases is beneficial to the patient on one hand and a display of nurses’ professionalism on the other hand. Consequently, there is a non-contested need for the practice of handwashing to be practiced without question in the nursing realm.

The emphasis on handwashing knowledge

Josephson (2004, p. 72), put forward an argument in support of the need for handwashing among nurses by proposing proper. She took her argument further by hailing handwashing practice as being a unique way of inhibiting harmful microorganisms from reaching the body of patients. Based on this argument, therefore, nurses need to embrace the effectiveness of handwashing towards the prevention of infections to patients. Nurses are at the forefront of making decisions regarding patients. Besides, they make contact with patients more frequently than other people in a health care setting do. The nurses may not be aware of their frequency and the danger it poses to the patients for lack of adherence to handwashing as a practice in their profession. The knowledge required to boost handwashing must be taken up as a challenge for nurses. Having endorsed it as a challenge, Edwards (2008, p. 65), asserts that it should be a learning routine for student nurses.

Research also provides evidential support for knowledge acquisition, by nurses through an emphasis on vigilance. About vigilance through hand hygiene Landrum (2011, p. 84), lends a hand of support to the fact that a health care installation must provide training and education. Proper training should be extended even to subordinate staff in the health facility. They’re also a compelling need for nurse leaders in the education program for the nurses. Another aspect of imparting knowledge to the nurses concerning handwashing is encapsulated in the importance of nurse managers. This group plays role-model importance for compliance among the nursing staff. Their role is to come up with motivational strategies that support adherence to hand hygiene standards by nurses (Joint Commission Resources, 2005, p.121).

Need for reviewing the nurse’s workload

The workload at the disposal is also suspected to affect compliance to hand hygiene among the nurse. Barash et al. (2009, p. 274) found out in their study that a strong relationship exists between workload and non-compliance to hand hygiene. Their finding established that hand hygiene assumes a decreasing trend when the workload to a nurse is more. There is substantial evidence in support of the reduction of workload to enhance hand washing; an approach has to be designed to prompt a reduced workload. There is discernible evidence from research that supports the allegation and association of poor compliance to unbearable work. Such research was concluded by Weber (2010, p. 93), who established an association emanating from lack of handwashing time, reasonably from the workload. Consequently, the mentioned examples provide evidence challenging Health Care Facilities administrations to consider designing a nurse-to-patient ratio that reduces the workload. Reduction of the workload would undoubtedly favor compliance to hand hygiene.

There is evidence that knowledge is present. The presence of this gap ties the lack of compliance to hand hygiene by nurses to the factors aforementioned. The consequence is to find a viable solution to the problem. This solution objectively targets a reduction in cross infections by turning around the use of handwashing among nurses. The proposed solution relied much on the observations of nurses at work. This provides a practical point of view to implicate nurses’ lack of handwashing practice. The practical part of this approach to the solution of the problem, therefore, results in the internal validity of the proposed solution. On the other hand, much research preceded the problem of handwashing among nurses and other physicians. The findings are consistent with early research work on the same. The combination of the practical observation of nurses at work leads to the conclusion that a viable solution is a remedial approach to enhance compliance. The two approaches: a review of research work and practical observations, led to the innovation of a comprehensive education program as a solution to the problem. Therefore, there is a collective agreement to an assertion that the solution presents an external validity.


The three sections of the study are interrelated in several aspects. The first section elaborates on the existence of a problem that needs urgent attention. The nursing world has come to discern the dangers posed by poor rates of handwashing among nurses. Therefore, section A brings out an envisioned picture of the problem and its importance. The section further provides figures of compliance in support of the lack of handwashing compliance among nurses as a necessary problem that is supposed to be solved. Furthermore, an innovative aspect to the solution of the problem is emphasized in section B. This section resultantly describes the scientific merit of the proposed solution. It expounds on the comprehensive education program as a solution to the problem. The approach to the proposed solution has both internal and external validity because of the proposed design. The last section summarizes the need to provide a solution to the problem by proposing valid support to the comprehensive education program.


Barash, P.G. et al. (2009). Clinical anesthesia. Philadelphia: LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS.

Edwards, M. (2008). The informed Practice Nurse. West Sussex: John Wiley &Sons.

Joint commission Resource. (2005). Issues and strategies for nurse leaders: meeting hospital challenges today. New York: Joint Commission Publications.

Josephson, D.L. (2004). Intravenous infusion therapy for nurses: principles & practice. New York: THOMSON Learning.

Landrum, M.A. (2011). Fast facts for the Critical Care Nurse: Critical nursing in a Nutshell. New York: Springer Publishing.

Weber, J.D. (2010). Antimicrobial resistance: Beyond the Breakpoint. Stockholm: Karger Publishers.

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