Antibiotic resistance is a growing international public health concern. Antibiotic stewardship (ABS) is an effective measure to reduce antibiotic resistance. During the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone fears viral contamination that strongly affects working outcomes, especially in health care facilities. However, there is limited scientific evidence to assess the level of knowledge and practice for ABS in Cambodian health facilities. This study aims to determine the knowledge and practice of antimicrobial stewardship during the COVID-19 pandemic among nurses working at Choray Phnom Penh Hospital (CRPP), a private health facility.
A cross-sectional study was conducted to assess knowledge and practices toward ABS during the COVID-19 pandemic among 113 nurses working at the CRPH. Levels of knowledge and practices were categorized into poor and good using the 50th percentile cutoff. Descriptive and bivariate analyses were performed to assess the level of knowledge and practice across all independent variables. A p value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Most nurses were females, accounting for 65.5%. A total of 63.7% of participants were aged 21-30 years. An associate’s degree of nursing was 57.5%, while a bachelor’s degree accounted for 42.5%. Professional working years > 5 years were close to 40.0%. More than half of them (54.0%) had good knowledge of ABS. Half of the participants had good practices on inpatient management (51.0%) and clinical progress monitoring (53.1%). Less than half (47.8%) had good practices on patient safety and quality monitoring, and 53.0% on patient education and discharge. Staff working > 3 three years and those who worked in OPD were more likely to have a good level of knowledge (p = 0.023 and p = 0.019). Staff working in the ED and ICU had good practices on inpatient management and patient safety and quality monitoring (p = 0.010 and p = 0.017). Nurses working in OPD had good practices on clinical progress monitoring and patient education and discharge (p value = 0.02).
The study reveals that more than half of nurses had a good level of knowledge, particularly those working > 3 years and working at OPDs. Experiences and working conditions in the different departments have different levels of practice on ABS. Nurses working at the ED and ICU could have good practices on inpatient management and patient safety and quality monitoring. However, OPD nurses had remarkably good practices on daily clinical monitoring and patient education and discharge. Since this study was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic, the fear of transmission may have affected the nurses’ level of practice on ABSs.