In the field of nursing practice, upholding patient safety ensures the delivery of quality services thereby facilitating the improvement of the public’s health status. In the recent past, the increased number of medical errors in nursing practice has jeopardized the quality of health care provision thereby raising considerable concerns. Projections depict that at least 440,000 annual deaths in the US emanating from patient safety issues thus accounting for the third leading cause of medical-related deaths in the country (Weber, Rutala, Miller, Huslage, & Sickbert-Bennett, 2010). Particularly, healthcare-associated (HIAs) have been on the upsurge as antibiotic-resistant organisms like Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), Clostridium Difficile (C. Diff), and Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci (VRE), continue to cause detrimental health outcomes among patients
As such, addressing the issue by carrying out an inquiry into the area would work towards mitigating the dangerous trend in nursing practice given that the disease transmits fast in the hospital and community health facilities. Therefore, selecting an appropriate journal to publish the report on the given study would ensure that it reaches the desired audience for appropriate action. Thus, the Online Journal of Issues in Nursing (OJIN), an electronic journal offers an excellent platform for publishing articles about the hindrances and issues experienced by nurses in their practice. The OJIN Editorial Review Board assesses the journal contributions by ensuring that the topic is related to the latest issues in nursing before recommending for online publishing (The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 2016). Therefore, this paper purposes to delve into a research project that centers on the curtailment and control of HAIs in the various care environments before using the Online Journal of Issues in Nursing (OJIN) for publishing.
Conducting research requires the embracement of a systematic and logical approach that fosters the authenticity, reliability, and validity of the findings (Creswell, 2013). In this light, the OJIN expects the authors to adhere to the required steps in scientific inquiry for the innovative topics to undergo electronic publishing (OJIN, 2016). Therefore, the steps for carrying out the study include the presentation of the project’s title, problem statement, project purpose, research questions, hypothesis, methodology, implementation steps, results, and conclusion.
Title of Project
The title of the project introduces the readers to the topic addressed in the journal article (Venkatesh, Brown, & Bala, 2013). The title of the project ought to hook the reader in a manner that pursues them to continue reading the issue affecting nursing practice in contemporary nursing environments. As such, the title of this research project would read “The Curtailment and Control of Health Care-Associated Infections (HAIs) in Nursing Practice” Therefore, the title page would present the project’s title besides the authors’ names and their contact information.
The problem statement describes the extent to which the issue has affected the concerned parties to justify the need for delving into the area for promoting a better understanding of the problem before identifying suitable solutions (Creswell, 2013). In this regard, the issue of the prevalence of HAIs in the hospital environment due to medical errors poses a significant challenge to the realization of patient safety thereby demonstrating the inefficacy of nursing practitioners. Statistics show that at least 5% of hospitalized patients acquire HAIs especially MRSA, C. Diff, and VRE in a way that worsens their health conditions and thus, prolongs their stay in the health facilities. The HIAs account for an estimated cost of $33 billion annually thereby straining the per-capita contributions for the health sector’s budgetary allocations (Dellit et al., 2007). Therefore, the need for curbing the transmission of MRSA, C. Diff, and VRE especially through the observance of cleanliness, use of checklists, contact precaution signs, and sanitation among other strategies would facilitate the alleviation of the nursing practice issue.
Purpose of the Project
The project seeks to foster the essence of upholding patient safety in the course of providing health care services. By tackling the menace presented by the antibiotic-resistant organisms found in MRSA, C. Diff, and VRE, the project would facilitate the promotion of patient safety by reducing the prevalence of medical errors leading to the said conditions. Further, the project purposes to promote awareness regarding the adversities induced by the HAIs to the various concerned parties including patients, health professionals, and the government health agencies. Moreover, the initiative seeks to establish effective strategies that would prevent the occurrence of HIAs in various hospital environments.
Interest in a certain topic typically begins the inquiry process, but the researcher’s knowledge of the subject determines the development of pertinent research questions for the study. The research questions bolster one’s knowledge concerning the topic of interest, asks about something that other parties care about, develops what the researcher and others already know, and creates an opportunity for learning new things (Venkatesh et al., 2013). The research questions for this project include the following.
- Do nurses act as the principal transmitters of the MRSA, C. Diff, and VRE HAIs in the hospital environment?
- To what extent does the observance of hygiene and sanitation prevent and control the transmission of HIAs?
The hypothesis acts as a proposed explanation or supposition created by inadequate evidence that initiates a further investigation (Venkatesh et al., 2013). In the context of this project, the hypothesis holds that nursing practitioners contribute to the transmission of HIAs like MRSA, C. Diff, and VRE in the health care settings, and thus, it prompts the need for the introduction of preventive and control measures to address the current issue in nursing practice. As such, the hypothesis would guide the reasoning throughout the inquiry to meet its purpose.
The methodology integrated into the study would focus on its suitability in assessing the approaches applicable to the study systematically and theoretically. In this concern, the study seeks to attain a comprehensive coverage of the issue by embracing a mixed research methodology whereby an integration of the qualitative and quantitative approaches would characterize the data collection and analysis aspects of the study. In this concern, the sample population would constitute nursing practitioners and patients selected through probability sampling procedures like simple random sampling. Qualitatively, the study would use questionnaires and focused group discussions to understand the factors that cultivate the transmission of the HAIs. Quantitatively, the integration of surveys would facilitate the collection of data that denote the trend of HIAs prevalence in the US health care sector. The analysis would incorporate ranking scales and modeling procedures that allow the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data collectively.
Project Implementation Steps
The project would observe several steps that would facilitate its successful implementation. Firstly, the selection of the identified sample population would facilitate the data collection endeavors. Secondly, and analysis of the data would follow to foster and understanding of the patient safety issue. Thirdly, the identification of recommendations for implementation would gain presentation to the concerned parties. Finally, submitting the project for publishing at the OJIN would facilitate the information dissemination aspect of the project.
The inquiry unearthed crucial information that would enhance the curtailment and control of the MRSA, C. Diff, and VRE HAIs in the healthcare facilities. The study uncovered that nurses, through unhygienic contact with multiple patients facilitate the transmission and acquisition of the identified antibiotic-resistant organisms. Further, the inquiry revealed that observing hygiene and sanitation cut the transmission of the HAIs by 90% thereby improving the safety of patients.
The need for observing hygiene, sanitation, and general cleanliness in the different health care settings curbs medical errors that trigger the transmission of HAI’s including MRSA, C. Diff, and VRE among patients. In so doing, the move enhances patient safety thereby promoting quality health care provision.
Impact of the Project on the Nursing Profession
The project influences the practice of nursing positively by inculcating the essence of upholding patient safety. In this light, the undertaking instills the relevance of observing basic nursing protocols like hygiene and general cleanliness in the process of service delivery (Boyce, 2007). Additionally, the project allows the nursing practitioner to contribute to the body of knowledge pertaining the issue thereby promotes their career development. Therefore, publishing the project’s report electronically through the OJIN, the accessibility of the information to the greatest concerned majority adds value to the area tackled.
The various HAIs pose a substantial threat to the attainment of patient safety as nurses contribute to the transmission of antibiotic resistant organisms in the different healthcare environments. Therefore carrying out an inquiry to address the issue before submitting it for journal publication enhances the realization of the project’s purpose. As identified, the need for observing hygiene, sanitation, and taking contact precautions goes a long way in combatting the prevalence of HAIs that undermine the efficacy of the nursing practice.
Boyce, J. M. (2007). Environmental contamination makes an important contribution to hospital infection. Journal of Hospital Infection, 65, 50-54.
Creswell, J. W. (2013). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Dellit, H., Owens, C., McGowan, E., Gerding, N., Weinstein, A., Burke, P.,… & Brennan, P. (2007). Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America guidelines for developing an institutional program to enhance antimicrobial stewardship. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 44(2), 159-177.
Venkatesh, V., Brown, A., & Bala, H. (2013). Bridging the Qualitative-Quantitative Divide: Guidelines for Conducting Mixed Methods Research in Information Systems. MIS Quarterly, 37(1), 21-54.
Weber, D. J., Rutala, W. A., Miller, M. B., Huslage, K., & Sickbert-Bennett, E. (2010). Role of hospital surfaces in the transmission of emerging health care-associated pathogens: norovirus, Clostridium difficile, and Acinetobacter species. American journal of infection control, 38(5), 25-33.