Data from Nebraska Medicine shows that although nurses and primary care technicians knew that chlorhexidine gluconate should be used for bathing patients, adherence was low. Chlorhexidine is commonly used to prevent hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), like bloodstream infections and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP).

Researchers sought to determine the attitudes, awareness levels, practices and potential barriers pertaining to chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) bathing protocol among nurses and patient care technicians (PCTs) at Nebraska Medicine.

An online survey, sent to all 673 nurses and 297 PCTs at the center, evaluated the knowledge, practices and beliefs of these providers regarding CHG bathing and bathing in general. Overall compliance for using the antibacterial treatment was low (63%).

Eighty-eight percent of respondents demonstrated awareness that CHG should be used rather than regular soap in all patient bathing. Practitioners with more than 5 years’ experience were more likely to correctly identify this information vs. less-experienced employees (92% vs. 84%; P = .016).

CHG bathing was cited as very or extremely important to patient care and outcomes by a greater proportion of PCTs than nurses (73% vs. 61%; P = .0493), and more PCTs considered CHG bathing to be a high or essential priority (79% vs. 50%; P < .0001).

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