Contact Patterns of Healthcare Workers During Simulated Healthcare Activities
thesisposted on 06.08.2019, 00:00 by Elizabeth Marie Hoerning
Healthcare workers are at a high risk for contracting infectious diseases due to their long hours in hospitals and proximity to infected patients. Certain diseases such as influenza, Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), disproportionately affect healthcare workers. Awareness and concern among healthcare associated infections has increased, leading to research focused on characterizing the process of disease transmission to healthcare workers. Many infectious diseases that spread through healthcare settings are thought to be transmitted by contacts between the patient, healthcare workers, and the environment. Understanding the contact patterns of healthcare workers can help to evaluate the contribution of this pathway to disease transmission, if any, and identify new ways to stop the spread of infectious diseases in healthcare settings. The goal of this study was to expand our knowledge of potential contact patterns among healthcare workers and identify high-risk behaviors by healthcare workers that may contribute to the spread of disease. In this study we observed experienced healthcare workers performing seven simulated healthcare activities. These activities included: intubation (extubation), suctioning, intravenous access and venipuncture (IV access), central venous access (CV access), bathing, physical exam, and vital signs assessment (vitals). After the experiments were performed, the levels of contamination of simulated body fluid, and the location and number of contacts were recorded.