Nursing Assistants’ Use of Personal Protective Equipment Regarding Contact With Excreta Contaminated With Antineoplastic Drugs

AnnMarie Walton

Shawn Kneipp

Laura Linnan

Josephine Asafu-Adjei

Christian Douglas

Maija Leff

Bonnie Rogers

occupational exposure, nursing assistants, personal protective equipment
ONF 2019, 46(6), 689-700. DOI: 10.1188/19.ONF.689-700

Purpose: To examine the feasibility of observing and interviewing nursing assistants about handling of antineoplastic drugs contaminated with excreta, acceptability of a measure of personal protective equipment (PPE) use with nursing assistants, and predictors of PPE use.

Participants & Setting: 27 nursing assistants in an inpatient hematology-oncology unit at an academic medical center in the southeastern United States.

Methodologic Approach: This was an exploratory, multimethod study using observation, verbally administered questionnaires, and interviews. Research variables included recruitment rates, acceptability of observation, and understandability of a safe-handling instrument.

Findings: Observed use of double gloves, chemotherapy gowns, and face shields was low; use of plastic-backed pads when flushing excreta was high.

Implications for Nursing: Nursing assistants are willing to participate in research. Standardized training and education about PPE use are needed.

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