If you’re a health care worker working in a medical setting like hospitals, primary care, or aged care, knowing the fundamentals of infection prevention and control is a must. The primary purpose of this training is to prevent and stop the transmission using infection control training.
Or if you have a business, requiring your staff to undergo training will provide your customers peace of mind. Aside from that, this will add credibility and the necessary skills for your staff to effectively do their roles. So here are the reasons why one should undergo infection control training:
1. Understand How Infection Occurs
To further understand the rationale behind the benefits of infection control training, one must know what an infection is and how it occurs.
Infection is the way pathogens invade and grow inside the body. It can enter any part of the body and spread all through it. There are three things required for an infection to occur.
- Source: This refers to the infectious agent or pathogens like a virus, bacteria, or other microbes. In hospital settings, it found from patients, visitors, and healthcare workers. Some people can infect without showing any symptoms, so they can unknowingly transmit the germs to others. Other sources include equipment, medical devices, and wet surfaces in hospitals.
- Immunocompromised people: These people are susceptible to infection because they’re not vaccinated or born with a weakened immune system.
- Transmission: This refers to the transfer of germs to a susceptible person. These done through direct contact, inhalation due to vaporized tiny particles, and sharp injuries in healthcare settings.
Learning the nature of infections and how it’s transmitted, you’ll understand why healthcare professionals must undergo infection control training.
2. To Prevent Patient-To-Patient Contamination
As a healthcare provider, your primary goal is to care for and deliver the best health services to your patients. According to the CDC, there are standard precautions that focus all on patient care. These are the standard protocols that all healthcare providers practice to prevent the infection from spreading from patient to patient. These are some of the practices they use to avoid infection in the healthcare setting:
- Hand Hygiene: This is a simple yet effective way to avoid infections. Cleaning your hands can help prevent the spread of harmful germs. This means washing hands with soap and water or it can be an antiseptic hand rub like using alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
- Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): If there’s an expectation of possible exposure to infectious matter, a healthcare provider must wear this to avoid contamination or possibly infecting themselves. Wearing PPE upon room entry and properly disposing of it before exiting the infected room expected to contain the pathogens.
- Follow Respiratory Hygiene: This practiced to prevent transmission of all respiratory infections like flu. In the healthcare setting, the facilities equipped with materials like tissue paper or alcohol-based hand rub to use if exposed to respiratory secretions. Covering the mouth and nose with tissue advised to people when they’re coughing or sneezing
- Properly Handle and Clean Equipment or Devices: Regular disinfection and sterilization of the equipment and devices expected to avoid contamination.
3. To Protect Themselves From Infection
Another reason to undergo infection control training is to protect the health and welfare of healthcare providers. By complying with the infection control measures, not only they will protect themselves but also others.
Without controlling the spread of infection, all healthcare settings will become hazardous which will create a massive healthcare dilemma in the society. This is usually the start of every pandemic in history.
4. To Comply With The Law
Aside from the benefits, mandated by the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 of Section 12 2(c) and 2(h) to require your staff. Especially healthcare workers, to undergo infection control training. This will ensure that they have the necessary qualification and skills to do their jobs safely while assessing the risk of, detecting, and controlling the spread of, and preventing infections.
The risk assessment carried out by healthcare professionals are based on the principles of HSE:
- Identify the infection that can harm people.
- Identify who might harm and how it will happen.
- Evaluate the risks and decide the necessary protocols.
- Record the risk assessment.
- Review and update the assessment.
Employers should provide their staff, whether it’s healthcare workers or restaurant staff, necessary training for infection control. This will ensure that they will carry their jobs more efficiently and effectively depending on their role while remaining competent.
Prevention of infections is the main goal of healthcare providers in whatever medical setting they’re in. They need to have an understanding of how infections happen, how these microbes spread and the role each of them play to prevent transmission.