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Online courses boost infection control skills

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Online courses can significantly improve nurses’ infection control practice, suggests a small Canadian study.

Researchers studied 67 healthcare staff, half of whom were nurses, who completed a questionnaire before and after taking a specially developed online infection control course.

The course involved videos and interactive quizzes, and covered hand hygiene, routine practices and the chain of transmission.

Prior to completing the course, participants rated their infection control competency at around 64%. After the course, this rose by nearly a fifth to just over 77%, said the researchers.

Almost 90% of those studied said they had changed their behaviour as a result of taking the course, and 85% said they thought it was a positive way to support infection control practices.

Study author Lynda Atack, professor of nursing at Centennial College, Ontario, said: ‘The results of our study show that online learning can be an effective way to enhance knowledge and skills in infection control procedures.

‘This standardised delivery approach minimises demand on limited training resources which are under strain and gives learners the opportunity to refresh ‘rusty’ infection control and prevention skills,’ she added.

Journal of advanced Nursing 63: 175-180

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