Original Research

Infection prevention and control measures currently applied in South African audiology

Katerina Ehlert, Alida M. Naude
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 61, No 1 | a55 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v61i1.55 | © 2014 Katerina Ehlert, Alida M. Naude | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 February 2014 | Published: 11 November 2014

About the author(s)

Katerina Ehlert, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Limpopo, Medunsa Campus, South Africa
Alida M. Naude, Faculty of Health Sciences,University of Limpopo, Medunsa Campus, South Africa

Abstract

Background: To counter the global increase in infection-related deaths, infection control has recently developed into an active area of research. Many diseases can be prevented by infection control. In the confines of the audiology clinic, cross-contamination by micro-organisms associated with opportunistic infections remains a real concern.

Objective: The primary aim of the study was to ascertain the methods that audiologists in South Africa use to prevent and control the spread of infections during and after consultation with clients.

Method: A survey study was conducted, using a self-administered questionnaire. Fifty currently practising audiologists participated in the study.

Results: The majority (84%; n = 42) of respondents acknowledged the importance of hand hygiene for the purpose of infection control, with 76% (n = 38) making use of no-rinse hand sanitisers. Approximately a third of audiologists wear gloves during procedures such as otoscopy and immittance, and while handling hearing aids. Disinfecting audiological equipment seem to be the preferred choice of infection control, with only 60% (n = 30) of respondents sterilising audiological equipment after each individual patient consultation. Less than half of the respondents disinfected touch surfaces and toys in the reception area.

Conclusions: Based on the results, further education and training should focus on measures implemented in infection control, awareness of possible risk factors at work settings, and vaccination as an effective means of infection control.


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