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Infection Control

Med students unwilling to speak up

July 23, 2012
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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — A cross-sectional study recently took place in Monash University in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, assessing the willingness of medical students to speak up about subpar hand hygiene practices among their colleagues and supervising physicians, according to a press release.

An anonymous survey was sent to Monash University medical students undertaking clinical placement from January 23 to March 2, 2012, the release stated.

According to the release, the survey addressed willingness to remind medical personnel to perform hand hygiene, reasons for not speaking up, perceived reactions of medical personnel and the individual student to being reminded to perform hand hygiene, and students'' beliefs about their role in preventing healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) and the importance of hand hygiene.

Eighty-three percent reported that they were willing to speak up to fellow students about inadequate hand hygiene; this number decreased, however, for those who were willing to do so to interns (30 percent), residents (16 percent), registrars (nine percent) and consulting physicians (six percent), the release noted.

The researchers report that the primary reason why students would not speak up was a reluctance to question senior staff (from 64 percent for interns to 74 percent for consulting physicians, the release added.

Click here to read the complete release.

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