Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Online courses boost infection control skills that could prove vital in a pandemic

10.07.2008
Online courses are helping staff to develop the skills they need to tackle hospital-acquired infections, such as MRSA and C.difficile, and this expertise could also prove vital in a pandemic, according to a study published in the latest issue of the UK-based Journal of Advanced Nursing.

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.

•Re-examining waste disposal processes and more appropriate glove use in the labs.

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
Further information:
http://www.virgin.net
http://www.www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118486802/home

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes
14.08.2017 | University of British Columbia

nachricht New type of blood cells work as indicators of autoimmunity
14.08.2017 | Instituto de Medicina Molecular

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

Im Focus: Scientists improve forecast of increasing hazard on Ecuadorian volcano

Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and the Instituto Geofisico--Escuela Politecnica Nacional (IGEPN) of Ecuador, showed an increasing volcanic danger on Cotopaxi in Ecuador using a powerful technique known as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR).

The Andes region in which Cotopaxi volcano is located is known to contain some of the world's most serious volcanic hazard. A mid- to large-size eruption has...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New thruster design increases efficiency for future spaceflight

16.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Transporting spin: A graphene and boron nitride heterostructure creates large spin signals

16.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

A new method for the 3-D printing of living tissues

16.08.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>