1887

Microbiology Education and Infection Control Competency: Offering a New Perspective

    Authors: Jennifer L. Cox1,*, Maree Donna Simpson1
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    Affiliations: 1: Charles Sturt University, Orange NSW 2800, Australia
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Received 11 September 2017 Accepted 23 February 2018 Published 29 June 2018
    • ©2018 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    • [open-access] This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ and https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode), which grants the public the nonexclusive right to copy, distribute, or display the published work.

    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: School of Biomedical Sciences, PO Box 883, Orange, NSW, Australia, 2800. Phone 612 6365 7687. E-mail: [email protected].
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. June 2018 vol. 19 no. 2 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v19i2.1475
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    Abstract:

    Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) have become a significant and costly problem for healthcare institutions worldwide. Despite the crucial role of infection prevention and control (IC) procedures, there is a substantial body of evidence to indicate that IC knowledge and practices of health professional graduates is, however, sub-optimal. This paper presents a discussion of the critical role microbiology plays in infection control education and practice, arguing that without an ability to apply microbiology knowledge to IC decision-making, there is an inherent risk of incorrect application of IC practices and thus a risk to patient (and nurse) safety. The authors propose a re-conceptualization of infection control competency, using nursing as an exemplar profession, to reflect practice that is not based on simple memorization of protocols but rather on a sound understanding of microbiology and informed decision-making. The proposal for re-conceptualizing the definition and assessment of IC competence, if adopted, would potentially enhance students’ understanding and synthesis of microbiology knowledge and help build students’ capacity to apply that knowledge to practice.

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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v19i2.1475
2018-06-29
2018-09-18

Abstract:

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) have become a significant and costly problem for healthcare institutions worldwide. Despite the crucial role of infection prevention and control (IC) procedures, there is a substantial body of evidence to indicate that IC knowledge and practices of health professional graduates is, however, sub-optimal. This paper presents a discussion of the critical role microbiology plays in infection control education and practice, arguing that without an ability to apply microbiology knowledge to IC decision-making, there is an inherent risk of incorrect application of IC practices and thus a risk to patient (and nurse) safety. The authors propose a re-conceptualization of infection control competency, using nursing as an exemplar profession, to reflect practice that is not based on simple memorization of protocols but rather on a sound understanding of microbiology and informed decision-making. The proposal for re-conceptualizing the definition and assessment of IC competence, if adopted, would potentially enhance students’ understanding and synthesis of microbiology knowledge and help build students’ capacity to apply that knowledge to practice.

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