Infection Control Training: An Ongoing Necessity For Health Care Workers
For nurses, infection control practices are nothing new. Nurses first learn about these policies and procedures in nursing school. And they routinely follow the practices at work. But that doesn’t mean every nurse follows infection control procedures consistently and confidently.
The COVID-19 pandemic raised the level of concern for infection control in health care settings. Infection control is essential to prevent the spread of illness among the public. But it’s also crucial to prevent exposure and spread among health care workers.
Preventing the spread of infection within a health care organization is a team effort, but the nurse’s role is paramount. It starts with the individual. Each nurse needs to stay up to date on current infection control guidelines and turn that education into action.
Project Firstline and Infection Control
ANA has long been involved in infection control education. When the opportunity came up to partner with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in a national training collaborative for health care infection control, Project Firstline, ANA quickly joined. The national program’s mission is to empower health care workers to strengthen their foundational knowledge of infection control.
Project Firstline provides engaging trainings and resources for U.S. front-line health care workers in various workplace settings. So, in partnership with the CDC, ANA set out to create infection prevention and control education developed for nurses by nurses, and to curate a hub of infection prevention and control resources housed on ANA’s own website. The program is called ANA Project Firstline.
“We saw a need to educate front-line nurses on infection prevention, but we wanted to simplify the information and make it easy to disseminate the best practices using the model ‘for nurses, by nurses,’” says Sandy Cayo, DNP, FNP-BC, Project Coordinator of ANA Project Firstline.
That simplicity is clear on ANA Project Firstline’s online hub. The site breaks down the materials into how infections spread, how to prevent the spread, and more detailed, topic-specific resources that include:
- Environmental cleaning and disinfection basics
- Infection prevention control (IPC) basics
- Injection safety
- Nursing home infection prevention training
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) basics
- Respiratory basics
Focusing on those topics, ANA Project Firstline provides:
- Core training delivered through short, accessible videos
- Practical tools to help implement infection control protocols and procedures
- Partner engagement with 14 organizations to help spread awareness and promote the materials
- Mentorship opportunities to connect infection control experts with local communities
- Research to inform infection control recommendations
Health care workers can access a variety of multimedia, including:
- Videos and social media graphics
- Print materials and job aids
- Interactive resources
- Training toolkits
Some resources include infection control activities or quizzes so individuals can test their knowledge. Nurses can also earn Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) hours for taking certain infection control trainings.
Two of ANA Project Firstline’s most popular trainings are “Injection Safety: A Focus on Infection Prevention.” It had 850 learners enrolled and distributed 550+ CNE hours within 30 days of launching. And “Multi-Dose Vial Infection Prevention Practices” had 660 enrollees and 375 CNE hours within 30 days of launching.
“We have a responsibility to ourselves and the patients we care for,” says Dr. Cayo. “Infection control is the top priority in every area of health care.”
Learn more about ANA Project Firstline and its infection control resources for health care workers.
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