Surgical operations are vital procedures in the health care delivery system. Advancement in surgery has played a pivotal role in managing and treating complex health challenges requiring the process. However, the process and procedure involved in surgical operations could significantly endanger the life of the patient. Healthcare associated infections (HAI) pose grave danger to patients and health workers alike. Empirically establishing the level of knowledge, attitude and actual practices of surgical site Infections (SSIs) infection prevention among nurses is therefore an issue for research if the alarming rate of SSIs in developing countries is to be checked. The study adopted cross-sectional survey and the population comprised surgical ward nurses in University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin. Data were generated using self-developed questionnaire with a reliability estimate of 0.88 on the Cronbach alpha scale. These data were analyzed using descriptive statistics of frequency counts and percentages and inferential statistics of Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient at 0.01 alpha. Findings showed that respondents demonstrated relatively high level of knowledge on SSIs prevention, relatively poor attitude towards SSIs prevention and unsatisfactory level of SSIs prevention. When associations among the variables were examined, findings showed that there is positive association between all the variables studies. Findings showed that there is positive and moderate correlation between knowledge and attitude towards SSIs prevention (r = 0.695, p = 0.000<0.01) as well as between knowledge and practice (r = 0.570, p = 0.000<0.01). High correlation was however found for attitude and practice of SSIs prevention (r = 0.763, p = 0.000<0.01). Nurses’ level of knowledge does not translate to desired attitude and practices on SSIs prevention. Improving attitude and practice of SSIs through close supervision, patients’ rights education, in-service training and provision of supplies and consumables were recommended.
Key words: Surgical site infections, knowledge, attitude, practices, prevention, nurses.
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