Behavioral Health, Mental Health, Substance Abuse
Hospital Injuries among Healthcare Workers in Haiti: A Qualitative Study
(School of Public Health (UMD) Behavioral and Community Health Faculty)
Purpose of the work: In Haiti, health care workers face multiple threats related to HIV and other blood borne pathogen (BBP) transmission. Haitian health care workers generally have equivalent or higher prevalence of HIV, TB, hepatitis, and other work-borne infectious diseases. However, numerous work-related risks, as well as, delays in seeking care due to stigma/lack of confidentiality increase their risk for exposure and subsequent disease. Methods: Interviews were conducted among 12 hospital administrators in Haitian Creole by native Creole speakers in 3 hospitals. Voice recordings of the interviews were transcribed and then translated into English. Qualitative analysis to determine themes and topics was conducted using Atlas.ti qualitative software. Results: Needle stick injuries were reported as a major source of BBP transmission. These injuries occurred (1) while drawing blood from patients, (2) during disposal of dirty needles or other hazardous waste by nursing or cleaning staff, and (3) through blood or fluid “splashing” into the eyes of laboratory workers during examinations. Policy implications: Hospital management staff suggested the need for assistance in developing clear written policies on staff and administrator responsibilities, creating more interactive training emphasizing employee awareness and risk of exposure, offering more frequent shorter trainings to remind staff of these lessons; and finally having hospital administrators assume a more visible stance regarding preventive measures to protect healthcare workers.