Web site spotlight: Educate nurses on infection control in four quick ways

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, April 3, 2009

When a new document, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention disinfection and sterilization guidelines, is issued, finding ways to train staff members on the new policies can be difficult.

Nurses are notoriously busy, and it can be nearly impossible to wrench them away from the floor. So try these four engaging training methods to educate staff on new infection control policies:

  1. Keep it simple. Provide written information and use an easy-to-read format, such as bullet points. Don’t present staff members with a big block of heavy text and expect them to plow through it, says Candace Friedman, BS, MT (ASCP), MPH, CIC, director of infection control (IC) and epidemiology at the University of Michigan Hospitals and Health System in Ann Arbor.
  2. Use new technology. Podcasts are being used by some hospitals to quickly train staff members in their free time.
  3. Try Internet-based training. Friedman says her facility often uses digitized videos on a Web site, which allows staff members to perform training in their own time frame.
  4. Put on a show. Years ago when the new isolation precautions came out, IC staff members wanted to do something memorable, says Andrea Cromer, RN, CIC, a nurse clinician at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC, and vice chair for APIC’s communication council. IC staff members decided to use skits and role-playing exercises to get the message across. This broke the monotony of the typical training and got people’s attention. But this type of exercise is best saved for big changes, not small updates, says Cromer.

Editor’s note: This excerpt was adapted fromSpreading the word about new infection control policies or proceduresfound in the Reading Room at Get a free trial membership that will give you 30 days to test drive all the exciting features on the Web site.

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