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 FREE trainings and resources for U.S. front-line health care workers in various workplace settings. 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
- And more
Focusing on those topics, ANA Project Firstline provides:
- Core training delivered through short, accessible videos, with FREE CNE available
- 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 on a broad range of IPC topic areas. For example, Sepsis. In recognition of Sepsis Awareness Month, SepsisAlliance and ANA Project Firstline are encouraging everyone to learn the signs of sepsis. As a medical emergency, together with its symptoms, Sepsis must be treated rapidly to reduce the risk of death. As many as 80% of sepsis deaths could be prevented with early detection and treatment. Visit the ANA Project Firstline on-the-go resources page for up-to-date information and tools.
ANA Project Firstline’s most popular training is “Injection Safety: A Focus on Infection Prevention" with 850 learners enrolled and 550+ CNE hours distributed within 30 days of launch. The second most popular training, “Multi-Dose Vial Infection Prevention Practices” has had 660 enrollees and 375 CNE hours distributed within 30 days of launch.
“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.”
Another offering available from ANA's Project Firstline is ANA IPC Fundamentals ECHO, a free tele-mentoring series that offers nurses opportunities to connect with IPC experts using brief lectures, interactive simulations and scenario-based presentations.
ANA IPC Fundamentals ECHO has developed all new content for it's third series launching this Fall, 2022. If you are a healthcare professional interested in participating in the series, REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!
The series serves as a forum to increase IPC knowledge, skills, and self-efficacy around IPC practices through the lens of infectious disease, as well as support growth in IPC knowledge networks and expand ANA's capacity to reach valuable frontline healthcare workers.
REGISTER FOR ANA IPC Fundamentals ECHO HERE!
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