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The Basics

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The Basics

This section covers IPC basics, including standard precautions and transmission-based precautions to protect both nurses and patients.

The Basic Science of Viruses

Explore the structure and composition of a virus. How do viruses work?

Why Does Contact Time Matter for Disinfection?
SARS-CoV-2? COVID-19? What’s the Difference?
What’s a Virus?
How Do Viruses Make You Sick?

The Concept of Infection

The goal of infection control, for any disease, is to keep people from getting sick.

Tips to Reduce Transmission in a Healthcare Setting
What is Project Firstline?
Infection Preventionists Save Lives
The value of infection prevention, 2017
What’s the Goal of Infection Control?
Infection Prevention and Control
What are healthcare-associated infections?
Who are Infection Preventionists?
Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations
Standard Precautions for All Patient Care
Core Infection Prevention and Control Practices for Safe Healthcare Delivery
Infection prevention and control
CDC/STRIVE Infection Control Training

Controlling the Source of Viruses

Our breath contains a lot of water that can't usually be seen, called respiratory droplets, and can contain virus particles.

What is Source Control?
Why Does Ventilation Matter?
What is Ventilation?
What’s a Respiratory Droplet? Why Does It Matter?
Transmission-Based Precautions

The Spread of Viruses from Surfaces to People

Viruses can spread in various ways through respiratory droplets on surfaces.

Control the Spread of Delta
How Infections Spread
How Do Viruses Spread from Surfaces to People?

Hand Hygiene

Practicing hand hygiene is a simple, but effective way to prevent infections.

Identifying Motivators for Hand Hygiene
Hand Hygiene: Education, Monitoring and Feedback
Clean Hands for Healthcare Personnel
Hand hygiene for all initiative
Clean Hands Count Campaign
Frequent Questions About Hand Hygiene
When & How to Use Hand Sanitizer
Clean Hands Count for Healthcare Providers
Hand Hygiene Guidance
Hand Hygiene Recommendations
Point of Care Cards
Clean Hands Count for Healthcare Providers Factsheet
Hand Hygiene from rubbing to dancing
A Nurse Finds a Simple Answer to a Vexing Question
CDC COVID-19 Prevention Messages
Clean Hands Count
FDA's Guide to Hand Sanitizer Use
FDA's Hand Sanitizer Use Q&A for Healthcare Professionals
FDA Hand Sanitizer Safety Fact Sheet
Test your knowledge about hand sanitizers with this fun online quiz from the FDA
FDA: Safely using hand sanitizer
Do We Really Have to Talk About Hand Hygiene? Again? Yes!

How Viruses Spread

An infection occurs when germs enter the body, increase in number, and cause a reaction.

Infection Control Actions for Delta
How Can COVID-19 Spread When You Don't Feel Sick?
Why Do Cleaning and Disinfection Matter in Healthcare?
What Do New COVID-19 Strains Mean for Infection Control?
Science Brief: SARS-CoV-2 and Potential Airborne Transmission
Hazard Recognition
How does COVID-19 spread? A Review
COVID-19 Transmission and Isolation Precautions
Disease Severity & Occupational Health Risk for Nurses Related to COVID-19
How Do Viruses Spread from Surfaces to People?

Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection

Preventing contamination between the environment and patients is critical to breaking the chain of infection.

Using a Quality Improvement Approach
Cleaning and Disinfection Strategies
Principles of Infection Transmission
The Importance of Collaboration between Nurses and Environmental Services

Risk Associated with Nonsterile Glove Use

Gloves prevent contamination of healthcare workers’ hands and help reduce transmission of pathogens.

Glove Use Information Leaflet


What is Sepsis?
Sepsis happens when...
How to talk about Sepsis
Protect your patients from Sepsis
Four ways to get ahead of Sepsis
Sepsis Protection Pocket Guide
Signs and Symptoms of Sepsis


Aerosol Generating Procedures and Risk of Transmission of Acute Respiratory Infections to Healthcare Workers: A Systematic Review

The Project Firstline program is a national training collaborative led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in partnership with ANA and the American Academy of Pediatrics, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity.

Want to learn more about Project Firstline? Contact

Project Firstline is a national collaborative led by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide infection control training and education to frontline health care workers and public health personnel. ANA is proud to partner with Project Firstline, as supported through Cooperative Agreement CDC-RFA-OT18-1802. CDC is an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this webpage do not necessarily represent the policies of CDC or HHS and should not be considered an endorsement by the Federal Government.

As a key partner in this initiative, ANA is pleased to help bring critical training opportunities and resources to better equip all nurses with the tools necessary to provide optimal patient care in a safe environment. Placement of content on this website is not an endorsement of the source nor of any particular product or service, nor should it be construed as a statement that the source, or its products or services, are superior to those of any others. ANA and/or Project Firstline may not be the primary source of the content on this website. While we make every effort to provide up-to-date relevant content, resources or information may not have been updated yet to include recent changes, new findings, recommendations, or protocols.

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The American Nurses Foundation is a separate charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation does not engage in political campaign activities or communications.

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