2014 Volume 52 Issue 6 Pages 492-497
Use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and safety medical devices is mandated for healthcare workers to reduce the risk of infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV) from exposure to patients’ blood. Research has shown that a strong safety climate may promote increased use of PPE. Therefore, the objective of this study was to examine the association between safety climate and use of PPE among homecare/hospice nurses in North Carolina. To this end, a mail survey was conducted in 2006. The response rate, adjusted on the assumption that the proportion of eligible nurses from among those who did not return the questionnaire or could not be contacted was similar to the proportion among those who did return the questionnaire, was 69% (n=833 eligibles). The percentage of nurses who used the specified PPE was two to three times greater among nurses who had a strong safety climate. Safety climate was only weakly associated with using safety devices. These results suggest that improving safety climate may be a powerful tool for increasing use of PPE.