Evaluating Infection Prevention and Control Education in the Workplace

Martin Kiernan MPH MClinRes RN3

1 University of West London, Boston Manor Road, Brentford, Middlesex, TW8 9GA UK. martin.kiernan@uwl.ac.uk

 

Education is always seen as a cornerstone of infection prevention and control activity, providing new or updating knowledge and skills of healthcare workers. A considerable amount of the limited resource that is an infection prevention team may be spent delivering training and education, yet how effective are these activities and is there a good return on investment?

Drawing on experiences from industry, the importance of evaluating the effectiveness of training beyond a basic level of student evaluations will be highlighted. This paper will review the relevant literature, differentiating between training and education and highlighting papers relevant to infection prevention.

Methods of assessing the effectiveness of education will be discussed, beginning with student evaluations. Suggestions for improving the information gained from evaluation will be proposed, with a focus on questionnaire design and optimising the information gained from them. The paper will then make an analysis of Kirkpatrick’s 4-stage model of evaluation of reaction, learning, behaviour and outcomes with relevance to infection prevention education. The paper will consider whether education increases compliance and following this, the sustainability of knowledge and skills gained through training and education will be reviewed.

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