Q: I am struggling as a new infection preventionist. Can you recommend ways I can learn more about my job and  be sure our IP program protects both residents and staff?

A: Congratulations on your new position! I would look up the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tools in Project Firstline. It is laid out to assist you as the IP, and to allow you to pull interactive video and print training materials for your staff.

There also are YouTube videos explaining  elements of the Firstline program. It strives to ensure everyone realizes that Infection prevention is an “essential” part of caring for and protecting patients. 

“When you can understand and apply infection control actions consistently and confidently — every person, every action, every day — it saves lives,” organizers said.“CDC’s Project Firstline provides innovative and accessible resources so all healthcare workers can learn about infection control in healthcare [and] about where germs live in healthcare settings and how to recognize the risk for them to spread — which is the first step in understanding when to take action to protect your patients and yourself from infections.”

As a healthcare provider, you’ll learn to recognize infection risks — and take action “to protect your patients and yourself, no matter the situation.”

Taking this course gives you confidence in knowing you are providing the best possible and safest care for your residents.

If you love IP and want to be further credentialed, there are other courses and certification exams available through NADONA, CDC and APIC. Which you choose just depends on the amount you want to spend obtaining the certification, and whether you prefer taking self-paced online classes or learning in person.

Post-acute care needs more supportive, well-trained staff, so thanks for being so diligent.

Please send your resident care-related questions to Sherrie Dornberger at [email protected].