Exploring the attitudes of medical students towards a new hand hygiene teaching approach

Rajneesh Kaur 1, Husna Razee 1, Holly Seale 1

Unsw Australia, Sydney, NSW, Australia


Introduction: Poor hand hygiene (HH) practices amongst medical students have previously been attributed to students not being exposed to sufficient teaching materials during their training. This study aimed to develop and pilot test a teaching module directed at improving the knowledge and attitudes of undergraduate medical students towards HH.

Methods: The HH teaching module was designed based on educational materials used by the World Health Organisation and other patient safety organisations. The development was also informed by the findings from our previous studies including in-depth interviews with staff and students and a survey of Australian medical schools. As part of the review process, in-depth group interviews were undertaken with 24 undergraduate medical students (years 1 to 5) to explore their attitudes towards the new approach and their level of acceptability and perceived usefulness of the developed teaching materials.

Results: Students believed that they lacked awareness about HH and healthcare associated infections (HAIs) and that course materials needed to reinforce the link between the two concepts. Favourable feedback was received from the interviewed medical students towards the developed Scenario Based Learning activity; however the group interview activity was not received well by students. They suggested that the HH teaching activities should be compulsory and not optional for medical students. In order to reinforce good HH practices and to improve knowledge around HH and HAIs, they felt that the activities should be repeated during each phase of their degree.

Conclusion: Overall we received a positive response to the educational module.

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