The Cross-Sectional Survey Design
Initial reactions to the article
The research was timely as there has been an increase in the number of new infections among health providers from their patients. This is especially alarming with the increased HIV AIDS cases which are rising by day due to increased contact with body fluids and blood which is contaminated. Health care professionals are at a higher risk of contracting the same ailments as their patients as they tend to be more in contact with their body fluids. Although most cases of infection are as a result of negligence and ignorance on the side of the health care provider corrective measures should be undertaken. Most professionals in this field rarely adhere to the required guidelines and measures that have been put forward by the government to reduce instances of infections. Subsequent studies have shown that most doctors and midwives openly admit to not darning protective gear when carrying out routine checkups in their patients (Cutter and Jordan, 2004).The article gives a clear impression of the laxity of health care providers in protecting their lives as well as those of subsequent patients.
This is because sometimes a patent may contract an infection from a nurse or doctor who failed to put on a protective device over his/her open wound. This leaves the general health of a patient at the risk of a doctor who is not overly cautious about the risks they are exposed to during the activity.This article raised a new interest to conduct a similar study on the other side of infection to determine the extent to which patients are exposed to similar risk in a hospital setting. Sometimes the patients trust the doctors so much that they forget to remind them that they should cover any openings on their skin to avoid transmitting infections to the patient. Health care providers are human beings who forget and it would only be advisable and advantageous to remind them rather than be faced inflicted with a terminal disease such as HIV and Aids (Cutter, 2004).
Relevance of the design in the articles research problem
The author used a cross-sectional design to collect data on the frequency of using protective measures to prevent risks of infections in healthy care centers. Employees who get into physical contact with the body fluids and blood of patients include midwives, surgeons and laboratory technicians. These professionals at a high risk of contracting diseases from contaminated body fluids of patients thus there is a need to provide educate them and provide appropriate protective gear. Therefore, a design which would cut across the different professionals in the heath facility had to be established. The cross-sectional design was used as it involves specific cohort such as the laboratory technicians, doctors and midwives in their own specific categories (Cutter, 2004).
The cross-sectional research design was especially appropriate in this research as it involves the collection of snapshot data such as the frequency of health care professionals to put on protective gear when handling patients. It is efficient as this form of data is more accurate when collected at a specific time to avoid biasness. This is because frequency of nurses and doctors to darn the protective gears is sometimes influenced by the time of the day or nature of cases at hand thus the data would not be accurate. However, application of a design that will show frequency at a specific time for all staff in that setting proves to be more appropriate. This makes cross-sectional design the best for this form of research (Cutter, 2004).
Incorporation of longitudinal survey in the research
The longitudinal survey involves repeated observation and data collection of the same sample population. Most longitudinal surveys are observational although the same characteristic is repeated over a specified period of time. This method is especially significant where the researcher is aiming at identifying the frequency of occurrence of an event or the periodic changes that are exhibited by variation of physical environment or presence of an external stimulus (Osen and Marie, 2004).Application of the longitudinal method in this survey would have created plenty of anomalies due to change in the physical environment of the health care provider.
Some of the professionals usually adorn the protective gear when faced by a problem which is quite obvious to possess contaminated blood while at other times they handle the patients with out gloves or face masks. Subsequent observation on the professional may coincide with a situation where the doctor or nurse is handling a similar case. These leads to inaccurate data being collected as the researcher may be made to conclude that the professional is always handling patients while in full protective attire. This gives wrong results as the objectives of the study are not achieved. Therefore, use of the longitudinal design may present inaccurate data and it is thus not appropriate for that type of research (Polit and Beck, 2008).
Cutter, J. and Jordan, S. (2004), Uptake of guidelines to avoid and report exposure to blood and body fluids. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 46(4), 441–452.
Osen, C. and Marie, D. (2004), Cross-section study design and data analysis. Retrieved on May 14, 2010 from: www.collegeboard.com
Polit, D. F. and Beck, C. T. (2008)), Nursing research: generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice. 8th ed. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.