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Accid Emerg Nurs. 2006 Jul;14(3):148-54. Epub 2006 May 19.

Self-reported infection control practices and perceptions of HIV/AIDS risk amongst emergency department nurses in Botswana.

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Thebephatshwa Air Base Hospital, P.O. Box 8, Thebephatshwa, Botswana.


This descriptive exploratory study investigated the reported practices and perceptions of emergency nurses related to infection control in the context of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) pandemic in Botswana. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire. Forty questionnaires were distributed to nurses with emergency department experience in Botswana, with a response rate of 55% (n = 22). Quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics while qualitative data were subjected to thematic and content analysis. The majority of respondents reported compliance with universal precautions at the hospital emergency department. However, qualitative data highlighted resource constraints that may hinder compliance with universal precautions such as a lack of appropriate facilities, a shortage of equipment and materials, inadequate staffing and absence of sustainable in-service education programs. Further, the reported compliance with Universal Precautions had not removed the fear of exposure to HIV/AIDS and perceived risk of transmission to family. The authors recommend in-service education and practice initiatives to promote sustainable compliance with universal precautions and realistic risk perception among nurses. Further research is required to evaluate nurses' compliance with universal precautions in developing countries using observational methods or in-depth interviews. This would enable exploration of nurses' actions regarding compliance with universal precautions.

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