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Mamdooh Alzyood is originally from Jordan. He joined the Oxford Institute of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Research as a PhD student in October 2015 and his thesis title is ‘The role of patients’ involvement in promoting hand hygiene among nurses in the hospital setting’.
I undertook my master’s studies in Infection Prevention and Control at Oxford Brookes University back in 2012. I was aware of the outstanding nursing education that Oxford Brookes provides for future nurses. My first impression of the University was marvellous, especially with regard to the education and support I received as an international student. I applied for my doctoral studies and felt privileged to be granted a place to start my PhD studies in 2015.
Being a former postgraduate student here was my main motive to choose Oxford Brookes as a place for a more advanced degree and this would not be possible without the support of my master’s supervisor Marion Waite, the spectacular support of Professor Debra Jackson and the ultimate supervision of Dr Helen Aveyard. Furthermore, Brookes has a great atmosphere to undertake research in health care studies, in particular the support group, seminars and workshops that the Oxford Institute of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Research (OxINMAHR) provides.
Before my PhD, I worked for a year as a staff nurse at the adult intensive care unit and then for another year as an emergency staff nurse. I had to develop my understanding in the area of infection control, and this was made possible by the offer I received to start my master’s degree at Oxford Brookes in 2012. I then started exploring the field of health care management, with a Master’s in Health Care Management from Northwest College Reading in 2014. I worked with Marion Waite running a postgraduate dissertation writing group as part of the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at Brookes, as well as working as an International Students Welfare Officer at City College Oxford for a year and as an Admission Team Member at International Group for Educational Services for two years.
I have enjoyed the first two years of my doctoral studies. The research team and students have been very welcoming and supportive. Being one of Brookes’ and OxINMAHR’s research students has given me the real support that every research student needs. Conducting a large research project is challenging work. The University provides a range of support services to help my studies. With time I have realised that being a research student is not just about producing a piece of academic work; it is about the skills that I have developed. The supervision team work together to provide guidance and support specific to my project, while the research administration team support my course progression.
My study aims to understand the role of patients’ involvement in promoting hand hygiene among nurses in the hospital setting.
Globally, the Centres for Disease Control reported that 1 in 25 hospitalised patients acquire at least one healthcare-associated infection on a daily basis. Irrespective of middle to high income or low resource country context, it is estimated that the risk to acquire healthcare-associated infection remains a very real danger around the globe.
Improving hand hygiene compliance among healthcare workers is recognised as one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of healthcare-associated infections. However, in most healthcare institutions, it is estimated that only 40% of health care workers adhere to recommended hand hygiene guidelines.
Nurses are the most frequent healthcare personnel who are in contact with patients and their surrounds in the hospital care environment. Therefore, the role played by nurses is pivotal in minimising the risk of transmitting microorganisms, not only from patient to patient but also between healthcare workers. The role of patient involvement in minimising the risk of healthcare-associated infections through hand hygiene programmes for healthcare workers has not been fully researched. However, it is often suggested that patients should be involved in their care and that they have the right or even a responsibility to inform nurses (as healthcare providers) of any possible errors or adverse events.
Based on these arguments and following a review of the literature, the first phase of the study will use focus groups to explore nurses’ views, attitudes and experiences if patients ask them to perform hand hygiene. The second phase of the study will collect data from patients who have the experience to remind nurses to perform hand hygiene through the use of critical incident study. Finally, effective hand hygiene promotion strategies could be revealed as part of national and international efforts to enhance hand hygiene compliance among healthcare workers via increased patient involvement.
Just as many students need time, guidance, and encouragement to be successful with new ways of learning, I needed time, practice, and support to become more comfortable and competent with new ways of learning, and even longer to become adept. Being a PhD student is about honouring time and energy. They are the most precious commodities doctoral students have.
From the first induction meeting for the research students to all sessions, workshops, and training provided for research students it was and remains a great experience through which I developed my knowledge and skills. I would recommend all future research students to attend these sessions and participate in different research activities regardless of their area of interest. I would like to support the great idea of the Postgraduate Research Symposium where research students have the chance to present their work and progression and share ideas with other people who might light up new ideas in our minds that could help.
Finishing my PhD is my top priority. I aim to produce a high-quality piece of academic work along with a strong personal and professional development profile giving me the chance to pursue a career in academia or clinical research in the area of nursing combined with infection control.