Epidemiologist is monitoring hand washing in a facility.

Chapter 16

The nurse epidemiologist is monitoring hand washing in a facility. The facility has had a series of infections with resistant organisms in its clients, and the concern is that hand washing may be the cause. The nurse is performing a series of assessments across the facility to help understand practices related to hand hygiene.

1. The nurse was told that there was a statistically significant difference in the number of bacteria on the hand when using hot water for washing compared with cold. What questions should the nurse pose about this finding?

2. The nurse recorded the number of times staff on different floors washed their hands. After running statistical analysis on the data, it appears that there was a difference in the average number of times hand washing was completed on one unit compared with another. What is the null hypothesis, and if the nurse’s assessment was correct, would it be accepted or rejected?

3. For the nurse in this scenario, what would be the implications of making a type I error?