Knowledge and practice of waste management among hospital cleaners

Background: Poor knowledge and practice of waste management among hospital cleaners is a significant occupational and public health risk which could be improved by better training.
Aims: To assess private hospital cleaners' knowledge and practice of hospital waste management and the association with training.
Methods: A cross-sectional study using an interviewer-administered structured questionnaire was undertaken. The questionnaire was designed to record demographics, assess knowledge and assess self-reported practice and training by private hospital cleaners in Etiosa in Nigeria. Results were analysed with SPSS20 using chi-squared tests.
Results: Ninety-eight hospital cleaners out of 135 participated (response rate 73%), of whom 81% reported that they had received training. Forty-nine per cent had good knowledge, while 90% self-reported good practice. Statistical analysis showed a significant negative association between training and knowledge (χ2 = 11.1, P < 0.01). There was no significant association between knowledge and practice.
Conclusions: This group of cleaners reported good practice but knowledge was negatively associated with training. This may be related to the nature of training. The study found a knowledge gap, exposing these hospital cleaners to occupational risks which appropriate training has the potential to prevent. Collaboration to produce effective training programmes is recommended.

Source: Nwankwo, C. (2018). Occupational Medicine.
https://doi.org/10.1093/occmed/kqy078

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