Infection Control Education – does one size fit all or should it be made to measure?

Joanne Baigent 1

CNS – Infection Prevention and Control, Counties Manukau Health, Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand


Additional to positive attitude and behaviour, successful Infection Prevention and Control (IP and C) practice requires knowledge and skills. In a healthcare setting dependent on electronic records and computers, literature indicates that healthcare workers prefer online learning opportunities as opposed to traditional teaching-learning methods (Karaman, 2011). The aim of this study was to explore possible areas for improvement in our current I P and C education programme.

The IP and C team developed an online survey that focused on the perceived education needs of staff and their preferred learning methods. Survey Monkey was used to design a survey which was emailed to nurse managers, specialists, coordinators and educators across hospital services. The survey commenced on 15th April 2016 and ran for 3 weeks. Two email reminders were sent to the target participants resulting in a total of 116 responses – a 23% response rate.

The results showed equal preference for the following topics: standard precautions, transmission-based precautions, cleaning and disinfection, MRO management, infection control policies and review of the infection control champion role (p >.05).
Ward-based one-on-one training (mentoring) was the most preferred learning method, followed by lectures and workshops. Online tutorials and online resources were least preferred (p>.05)

The provision of IP and C education should include the full range of topics, ensuring that ward-based one-on-one training is included as one of the delivery methods. However, it may well be that some services may also require education made to measure specific to their service requirements.

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