You are the nurse epidemiologist at a local hospital and are responsible for monitoring hand washing compliance in your facility. The facility has had a series of infections with resistant organisms in their clients and the concern is that hand washing may be the cause. You are performing a series of assessments across the facility to help understand practices related to hand hygiene.

You have recorded the number of times staff on different floors washed their hands. After running statistical analysis on the data, it would appear that there was a difference in the average number of times hand washing was completed on one unit as compared with another. What would be the null hypothesis and, if the nurse epidemiologist’s assessment were correct, would it be accepted or rejected? Secondly, as it relates to the null hypothesis, what is implied if a Type 1 error were to occur? Lastly, using the knowledge gained thus far from this course, list two different data collection methods that could be initiated in order to further investigate and address this infection control issue in your facility? How would you as the nurse epidemiologist and nurse researcher ensure these methods are reliable and valid?