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Nursing Students Work to Change Clinical Practice and Improve Patient Safety

Posted: May 17, 2011

Mandee Barrera

Mandee Barrerak

AUSTIN, Texas—School of Nursing students, Emily Pilling and Mandee Barrera, authored and presented a resolution at the State and National Nursing Student Association conventions encouraging nurses to provide hospital patients with the means and opportunity to wash their hands during their hospital stay.

Nurses, doctors, therapists and even visitors are provided with hand sanitizers to clean their hands before entering the patient’s room and upon leaving the room. Patients, however, especially those who are unable to get out of bed to use the sink, are rarely offered an opportunity to clean their hands during their hospital stay, say the students.

“The resolution offered at the State and National Nursing Student Association conventions (Galveston and Salt Lake City) outlined an elegant and concise solution to this alarming situation,” said Dr. Patricia Carter, associate professor of nursing.

The students also suggested that printed materials, available from the Centers for Disease Control, be placed in the patient’s room to remind them to ask to wash their hands if the opportunity is not given to them; thus including the patient and their visitors in the plan of care.

The resolution passed with overwhelming support in the House of Delegates at both the state and national meetings and will be forwarded to the American Association of Colleges in Nursing, the World Health Organization, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the American Nurses Association, the American Hospital Association and other organizations for consideration.

To read the full resolution, see view UTNSA Resolution (PDF).