Upper Egypt Nursing Team Earns Top Ten Ranking for Hospital Infection Control

Sohier, head nurse at Armant Fever Hospital, and colleagues teach students appropriate hand washing. {Luxor, Egypt. Photo credit: MSH.}Luxor, Egypt. Photo credit: MSH.

Sohier graduated as a nurse in 1979. She started her nursing career in a small hospital working in the primary health care unit. In 2007, she began working as head nurse at Armant Fever Hospital in Luxor, Egypt, where she leads a team of forty nurses.

MSH has been working with Armant Fever Hospital as part of the Improving Performance of Hospital Nurses (IPN) in Upper Egypt program. Applying the Leadership Development Program (LDP) as its core technical approach, IPN-trained teams have addressed challenges and achieved measurable results in four focus areas: (1) infection control, (2) basic nursing care, (3) communication between health care providers and patients, and (4) other primary health care service delivery challenges, such as integrated family planning, reproductive health, and maternal and child health services.

Sohier highly values the leadership, management, and infection control training that she and her team received. She cited commitment and compliance among the most useful skills she learned. She also pointed to the value of good listening and time management. She believes these qualities helped her improve communication with her colleagues and helped the team improve their performance in the hospital.

Since receiving the IPN training, Sohier and colleagues have achieved an important accomplishment. According to an assessment done by the Ministry of Health and Population in 2011, their hospital scored as one of the ten best hospitals for infection control, among 400 hospitals at the national level.

Hospital Director Dr. Mohamed Mostafa Mohamed Essa sent a thank you letter to the IPN team to recognize their contribution to improving infection control standards in the hospital: "Your efforts with our nursing team have had a great effect on improving their performance and helping them to be one of the top ten among Egypt's hospitals in applying infection control procedures. Thank you."

To build on this success controlling infections, the IPN hospital team visited a nearby primary school to teach the students routine hand washing. The school director has asked them to continue these trainings for the rest of the students in the school.

The IPN training had an impact on all of the nurses in Sohier's hospital. "Now the nurses make decisions on their own for better health services provision and infection control in the hospital," Sohier said. "They do this now spontaneously on their own, without daily supervision."

The Improving Performance of Hospital Nurses (IPN) in Upper Egypt program builds the leadership and management capacity of hospital and primary health care facility nurses in the areas of infection control, basic nursing skills, communication, and primary health care service delivery in five Upper Egypt governorates: Aswan, Qena, Sohag, Assiut, and Luxor.