Graduation Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Medical Sciences Interdepartmental Area

First Advisor

Dr. Shawn G. Gibbs

MeSH Headings

Infection Control, Nurses, Behavior


Nurses are trained in the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and have access to policies and procedures to use in their daily work, but errors in technique during patient care are common. The purpose of this study was to better understand the infection control behaviors that nurses demonstrate in practice. The project described nursing behaviors related to basic airborne and contact precautions using personal protective equipment (PPE) in a simulated care environment. The specific aims were to 1) identify infection control behaviors by nurses which may or may not adhere to clinical standards for isolation practice while performing clinical skills in a simulated patient care environment; 2) describe participant rationales for the various infection control behaviors which deviate from standards followed by individual reflections on performance in comparison to the CDC guidelines for isolation care; and 3) explore the timing of changes in clinical infection control behaviors after simulation participation over an extended period of time. Following the isolation standards in a simulation was challenging for nurses participating in this study. The rationales by nurses for certain infection control behaviors showed that nurses need education to emphasize the qualities of each type of protective gear and the rationales for the process of safe use. The nurses indicated increased awareness about their use of PPE after study participation and all indicated an immediate change in their behaviors after the experience. Future studies utilizing these video recording capabilities will build on this work to include test-retest designs for evaluating behavior change in isolation behaviors, v evaluating consequences of errors such as crossing mask straps or not tying gowns, and measuring the impact of factors such as fatigue or impairment.

Included in

Nursing Commons