Educating Staff on Infection Prevention and Control

May 13, 2022

Reading time: 3 minutes

Person using hand sanitizer at reception desk.

One of the most important pillars of healthcare employee education/training is infection prevention and control (IPC), and it’s also the focus of many regulatory accreditation mandates. Training on hand hygiene, bloodborne pathogens, personal protective equipment (PPE), and transmission prevention are required for healthcare employees as they relate to their duties and responsibilities.


Encouraging the prompt recognition, reporting, evaluation, and management of potentially infectious exposures and illnesses as well as ensuring adherence to federal, state, and local education/training requirements are some crucial elements taught in IPC education. The training is designed to increase healthcare employees’ knowledge, competency, and practical skills in relation to infectious diseases and their prevention.


When healthcare staff are properly educated and trained on IPC strategies, it empowers and enables them to adhere to these crucial practices and optimize patient safety. Various aspects of staff IPC training are included in this checklist to give organizational leaders an opportunity to review and possibly improve their existing staff education/training programs.

YesNo
Does your organization have written policies and procedures
regarding IPC education/training for staff members?
Has an individual — for example, an infection preventionist or other qualified
staff member — been designated to provide IPC education/training?
Is IPC education/training conducted:
– Initially upon hire?
– Periodically during employment, such as via annual refresher training?
– As necessary when an outbreak occurs or a special need arises, such as new job duties or new medical devices or equipment?
Are healthcare employees educated about hand hygiene, such as when to use alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water, proper technique, length of time, and when it should be performed?
Does staff education/training include IPC strategies and practices that are relevant to the organization’s population and address specific staff accountabilities?
Are healthcare employees educated on procedures for reporting and documenting specified diseases, incidents, and outbreaks to organizational leadership, the local health department, and/or the licensing agency?
Is a basic review of types of disease-causing agents (e.g., bacteria and viruses) and routes of disease transmission included in the staff education/training?
Is proper selection and use of PPE covered in staff education, including when and how to use gloves, gowns, and masks; engineering controls; and safe workplace controls?
Are environmental cleaning staff members educated on proper cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization in the healthcare environment, including equipment cleaning, disinfectants, and general housekeeping?
Are the appropriate staff members educated on the proper handling, storing, processing, and transporting of clean and dirty linens, supplies, and equipment?
Are the appropriate staff members educated on the proper handling and disposal of biohazardous and sharps waste?
Is information on the bloodborne pathogens standard — including exposure incidents, an exposure control plan, and reactions to a bloodborne pathogen exposure — included in staff education/training?
Is transmission prevention — including respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette, food and medication safety, safe injection practices to prevent contamination, infectious disease/sick policies, and immunizations — covered in staff education/training?
Are transmission-based precautions — including empiric and syndromic precautions, contact precautions, droplet precautions, and airborne precautions — part of staff education/training?
Are your organization’s policies regarding required and/or available vaccinations for staff and patients included in the staff education/training?
Are your staff members informed about sick leave guidelines in terms of the exclusion of staff with communicable disease or infections?
Are volunteers at the organization included in education/training applicable to them?
Is all IPC education/training documented in employees’ and volunteers’ human resource files?

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