The need for standard infection prevention and control (IPC) practices at healthcare organisations have always been much emphasised. However, they have become all the more important lately due to the unprecedented outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic — one of the most contagious infections ever known to humankind. The aim of IPC practices is to protect patients from catching infections that they did not have at the time of admission to a hospital. Ensuring these practices in a healthcare setting also limit the risk of infection for doctors, nurses and other medical staff.
Authorities have identified 5 basic pillars to ensure the success of infection prevention and control programmes. These include:
Issuing standard guidelines
Providing education and training to the medical staff
Applying multimodal strategies
Monitoring, auditing and generating feedback
Various bodies, committees, teams and individuals are working to check the quality of IPC practices followed by different healthcare organisations. One such body is CAHO (Consortium of Accredited Healthcare Organisations) that works to ensure the quality and safety of healthcare services provided in India. Additionally, this not-for-profit society also offers learning and training programmes to enhance the skills of healthcare professionals and other staff working at healthcare organisations. To improve the quality of IPC practices, CAHO offers the Infection Control Nurse Course (ICN course) that is based on both national and international guidelines.
ICN courses not only help enhance IPC practices followed at a healthcare organisation but also add to the skills of the nursing staff. The course includes modules such as WHO core IPC components, IPC surveillance and audits for HAI (healthcare-associated infection), healthcare worker (HCW) safety, standard and high-risk precautions, IPC in operation theatres, data collection and statistical calculation of data using Microsoft Excel, descriptive epidemiology and outbreak management, etc. The course is delivered by recognised and experienced faculty to ensure quality learning. Upon successful completion of the course, candidates are granted a recognised certification to acknowledge their skills and learning.
One of the prime highlights of the Infection Control Nurse Course is that it is an online training programme, thus, aspirants can access and complete the course from the safety of their homes. Also, the course is based on a self-paced learning module i.e. pursuers can complete the course at their own pace within 6 months from the date of registration.
Remember that offering poor-quality healthcare services is no better than the unavailability of healthcare services. So, if you are a healthcare professional, register for the ICN course today on CAHO’s website and if you own a healthcare organisation, encourage your staff to do the same to ensure the quality of IPC practices.