Infection control prevents or stops the spread of infections in health care settings. To help nurses and infection specialists quickly access important resources, ANA Project Firstline has curated information from the world’s most trusted and reliable sources, including the CDC, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), World Health Organization (WHO), and others.
Nurse-focused materials applicable to everyday practice include how infections spread, how to prevent the spread, and more detailed, topic-specific resources. Check back often for new content.
This section covers IPC basics, including standard precautions and transmission-based precautions to protect both nurses and patients.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) includes clothing, gloves, face shields, goggles, facemasks, respirators, and other equipment to protect front-line workers from injury, infection, or illness. When used properly, PPE acts as a barrier to block transmission of infectious materials from blood, body fluids, or respiratory secretions to your skin, mouth, nose, and eyes. PPE may also protect high-risk patients from exposure to potentially infectious material. Together with hand washing, use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and covering coughs and sneezes, PPE minimizes the spread of infection from one person to another.
To effectively respond to public health emergencies and natural disasters, nurses must be ready to engage in emergency preparedness and response activities. These include techniques to maximize patient safety, decrease occupational exposure, and prevent the spread of infection in schools, health care facilities, and communities.
Vaccines protect people from life-threatening, preventable diseases. Healthy individuals, as well as the most vulnerable, benefit from vaccinations.
Healthcare-associated infections (HAI) occur among patients receiving treatment for other conditions. They can happen in any health care setting, including hospitals, surgical centers, ambulatory clinics, and long-term care facilities. Young children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems are most vulnerable. Other risk factors include long hospital stays, indwelling catheters, failure of health care workers to wash their hands, and overuse of antibiotics.
Long-term care facilities throughout the country often lack adequate IPC knowledge and resources. Nurses can affect positive change for these facilities in their own communities with the necessary implementation tools.
K - 12 Schools
Reducing the risk of exposure to viruses and infection is an integral part of successful school operations. Frequent hand washing, proper vaccination, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, and good ventilation practices are all important strategies to keep students and teachers healthy in a school-based or childcare-based health care setting. School nurses and other health care personnel play an important role in safely keeping schools and childcare programs open for in-person learning and other in-person activities throughout the year.
As a nurse, having trustworthy, accurate information is vital during healthcare crises like COVID-19. These official CDC training materials are created by IPC experts for healthcare professionals. Learn PPE safety tips, infectious disease guidelines, how to speak to coworkers and patients about infection prevention, and more. Sign up today to learn how you can stop the spread.
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