Nursing and healthcare staff who took part in a specially developed online infection control course said that it had improved their infection control procedures and the advice they gave to patients, visitors and other staff. A number of them had also recommended changes to their department or hospital, which had been adopted.
When they were surveyed before the course, participants gave their competency in this area an average score of 64 per cent. This rose by nearly a fifth to just over 77 per cent after they had completed the course.
87 per cent said that they had found the course useful and relevant to their workplace and had already changed their behaviour as a result.
76 per cent said their organisation was fairly supportive when staff suggested changes or improvements and that they had the flexibility to allow new infection control measures to be adopted.
And 85 per cent felt that the online course would be seen as a positive way to support infection control procedures.
Other feedback suggested that the format of the course, which included videos and interactive quizzes, enhanced the learning experience.
Sixty-seven staff from three large teaching hospitals and a small community hospital in Canada completed questionnaires before and after the course, which covered three key areas: hand hygiene, routine practices and the chain of transmission.
Just under a half of them were registered nurses and the remainder included pharmacists, physiotherapists, nurse educators and nursing students.
A third had more than 20 years’ healthcare experience and a further third had less than five years’ experience. Just under half (49 per cent) had used online learning before and the majority (97 per cent) had intermediate or advanced computer skills.
“All the participants said that the course was extremely helpful and that they would recommend online learning as a way of improving infection control skills” says Professor Lynda Atack from the School of Health Studies at Centennial College in Ontario, Canada.
The healthcare professionals who took part in the course reported a number of ways in which their behaviour had changed or they had sought to influence the procedures adopted in their department. These include:
•Paying more attention to the need for personal hand hygiene.
•Improving the use of personal protective clothing and ensuring that patients and visitors do the same.
•Increasing glove use and wearing eye protection more frequently.•Asking for better-equipped isolation carts to be provided, together with hand sanitisers in non-clinical areas of the hospital.
The authors argue that infection control is vital amid growing international concerns about the rising rate of hospital-acquired infections such as MRSA and C.difficile. These frequently result in ill health or death and put major pressure on healthcare costs.
“International travel and bacterial resistance are also global health issues and these draw attention to the need for improved infection control” says Professor Atack.
“The Canadian organisations that managed the SARS outbreak have also raised major concerns about the limited availability of infection control experts and courses to train or retrain healthcare staff in basic infection control procedures.
“There is global consensus about this gap and the need for greater emphasis on infection control in healthcare settings.”
It was those concerns that led researchers to develop, and test out, the online course in infection control procedures.
“The results of our study show that online learning can be an effective way to enhance knowledge and skills in infection control procedures” concludes Professor Atack, who carried out the study with Dr Robert Luke, Director of the Office of Applied Research at George Brown College, Ontario.
“However, we are keen to point out that the online course was never intended to replace hands-on practice and that these courses will be most effective when they are used to complement existing workplace sessions.”
Professor Atack also stresses that adopting online learning for staff is more complex than simply putting courses on the Internet.
“Organisations need to proactively consider a number of factors to ensure that staff can make best use of online learning, including computer access and having sufficient time and technical skills to do the courses” she says.
“It is equally important to ensure that organisations provide healthcare professionals with the support they need after the course, to ensure that they can improve their infection control procedures. They should also be encouraged to suggest and influence changes in their working environment.”
Annette Whibley | alfa
How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism
19.01.2018 | Weill Cornell Medicine
Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine
19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy