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Document Type

DNP - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Mary E. Minton


School age children are highly susceptible to disease transmission and subsequent illness. Community-acquired illnesses such as influenza, upper respiratory infections, conjunctivitis, and intestinal distress are some of the diseases commonly passed among students (McGuckin & Ali, 2002). Since attendance is a predictor of academic outcomes, repeated illness-related absences can affect students’ learning and lessen their academic progress (Tousman et al., 2007). Proper hand washing education can improve hygiene and reduce infections while decreasing school absences (Tousman et al., 2007). This project implemented a three group hand hygiene education comparison in an effort to evaluate illness-related absences among first grade children. The PICOT question addressed in this project was:

(P) Among first grade students, (I) does weekly hand hygiene education that includes the use of hand sanitizer and hand washing (C) compared to no weekly hand hygiene education, (O) reduce the number of illness-related absences (T) within the first semester of school?

Although statistical significance was not found between the classrooms (n = 47), clinical significance was shown through increase in awareness and teacher satisfaction.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

School children -- Health and hygiene
Hand washing
Infection in children -- Prevention


Includes bibliographical references (pages 41-45)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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