Healthcare workers’ perception of a global outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and personal protective equipment: Survey of a pediatric tertiary care hospital

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Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2020 Aug 12:1-25. doi: 10.1017/ice.2020.415. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: This study aims to capture perspectives of healthcare workers (HCWs) on COVID-19 and infection prevention and control (IPAC) measures implemented during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey of HCWs was conducted.

PARTICIPANTS: HCWs from the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada.

INTERVENTION: A self-administered survey was distributed to HCWs. We analyzed factors influencing HCWs’ knowledge and self-reported use of personal protective equipment (PPE), concerns of contracting COVID-19 and acceptance of the recommended IPAC precautions for COVID-19.

RESULTS: A total of 175 HCWs (35 (20%) staff physicians, 24 (14%) residents or fellows, 72 (41%) nurses, 14 (8%) respiratory therapists, 14 (8%) administration staff and 14 (8%) other employees) completed the survey between March 6th and March 10th. Most of the respondents were from the emergency department (n=58; 33%) and the Intensive Care Unit (n=58; 33%). Eighty-six respondents (50%) identified the correct donning order. Only 60 (35%) identified the correct doffing order, but the majority (n=113, 70%) indicated the need to wash their hands immediately prior to removal of their mask and eye protection. Ninety-one (54%) respondents felt comfortable with recommendations for droplet/contact precautions for routine care of patients with COVID-19. HCWs’ occupation and concerns about contracting COVID-19 outside of work were associated with non-acceptance of the recommendation (p = 0.016 and p=0.036 respectively).

CONCLUSION: As part of their pandemic response plans, healthcare institutions should have ongoing trainings for HCWs that focus on appropriate PPE doffing and discussions around modes of transmission of COVID-19.

PMID:32782038 | DOI:10.1017/ice.2020.415