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 Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution
09.12.2016 | Veterans Affairs Research Communications

nachricht Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
08.12.2016 | Penn State

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: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>