The influence of employee, job/task, and organizational factors on adherence to universal precautions among nurses.
The influence of employee, job task, and organizational factors on the compliance of nurses to the Universal Precautions (UP) was examined. The study group consisted of 457 nurses (428 women), mean age 33.9 years, at a large hospital in the northeastern United States. They completed the Healthcare Worker Questionnaire which evaluated the roles of demographic characteristics, personal characteristics such as risk taking tendencies, worry about human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, knowledge of UP, and perceived value of prevention, job task factors such as perceived job hindrances to UP, adherence, workload, role ambiguity, and physical discomfort, and organizational level factors such as management provision of personal protective equipment, safety performance feedback, and organizational safety climate in influencing compliance with UP. The data were analyzed by hierarchical multiple regression analysis to determine which factors would best predict compliance with UP. Overall compliance with the UP was generally good. Compliance was significantly correlated with personal risk taking tendencies, value of preventive actions, job hindrances, use of personal protective equipment, feedback, and organizational safety climate. The strongest associations were seen for job hindrances and safety climate. A model consisting of knowledge of UP, job hindrances, feedback, use of personal protective equipment, and organizational safety climate explained 24% of the variance in the data. The authors conclude that job hindrances and organizational safety climate are significant determinants of compliance with UP. The authors recommend that nurses and other health care personnel be provided with as wide as variety of personal protective equipment options as possible, organizational barriers to UP should be reduced, and feedback related to safety performance should be improved.