Infection control has long been an important aspect of training in the nursing community. COVID-19, however, raised the stakes on just how prepared nurses need to be in the workplace. Over the course of the last 18 months, avoiding infection was at the forefront of everyone’s live. It also reiterated the importance of effective infection control training for nurses – especially for those within senior living communities, where residents can be most vulnerable.
Here, we’ll briefly detail the evolution of infection control training for nurses, what nurses can do to further prevent the spread of infections outside of their training, and how SeniorLivingU can help senior living facilities with more resources on the subject.
How infection control training for nurses has changed
There are many ways that infection control training for nurses has evolved just within the past year due to COVID-19. All senior living staff members had to be trained on elevated personal hygiene practices and the use of personal protection equipment (PPE), which included how and when to use the protective gear. Protocols surrounding cleaning and disinfecting of high-traffic areas and commonly-used spaces changed to include a much more stringent schedule as well. And, in addition to all of these changes, senior living communities had the unique challenge of providing more than just shelter and care for residents, but meals as well. All dining processes had to be reimagined with minimal contact in mind, which meant that many meals would be hand-delivered to residents’ doors. Training for safe senior living was a team effort, and required nursing staff, volunteers, doctors, and community executives to be trained on all new aspects of safety protocols.
To make all of these changes possible, nurses lead the way, often being the staff members in charge of teaching others the increased protocols, in addition to educating others on proper infection control measures. Dining staff, maintenance teams, and other general retirement community professionals were not in positions that required infection control training for nurses pre-COVID. But between holding training sessions and offering a helping hand throughout their day on top of their daily duties, nurses were able to aid in making entire communities safer against the spread of infection.
What began as medical professionals understanding the importance of employee-based measures like hand hygiene and unintended human error soon turned into changes in requirements and responsibilities for nurses attending to senior living residents. Thanks to these advances in infection control training for nurses over the past few decades, senior living professionals have been able to learn a basic overview of what can occur in an emergency situation such as an outbreak or pandemic. And, they’re also able to provide safer, more holistic services for residents on a daily basis.
Tips from the CDC on how to keep residents safe from infections
Currently, the country is seeing a continual drop in COVID-19 cases and senior living communities are beginning to return to normal operations. There are still many resources available from the CDC to help provide a safe environment free of any outbreaks, some of which reaching beyond infection control training for nurses.
- Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Reform of Requirements for Long-Term Care Facilities
- Infection Control in Health Care Facilities
- Post-acute and Long-term Care Facility Toolkit: Influenza Vaccination among Healthcare Personnel
- Infection Prevention Tools
- Hand Hygiene Checklist
- Healthcare Settings Preventing the Spread of MRSA
- Implementation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in Nursing Homes to Prevent Spread of Novel or Targeted Multidrug-resistant Organisms (MDROs)
- Infection Control – Guidelines & Guidance Library
Available SeniorLivingU courses that focus on infection control training for nurses
For more extensive training courses that speak directly to infection control training for nurses, SeniorLivingU also has several packages available. These courses cover the basics of how infections occur, how to contain them, and how to keep older adults who suffer from chronic illnesses safe in harmful situations. Our kits also include information on infection control training for nurses in relation to opening a new assisted living facility or when providing ongoing training for staff is needed. We encourage any senior living professional interested in infection control training for nurses to reach out to our knowledgeable staff through our website or by phone to help match you with the right courses for your team.
Here are a few of the infection control educational courses available on our website right now:
- Caregiver Corner In-Services Volume 1
- Assisted Living Start-Up Kit
- Infection Control… Begins with You! – Manual & DVD Training Set
SeniorLivingU is headquartered in Hershey, PA, serving as a support system and education provider for organizations and individuals within the senior living industry. Our website provides a full e-commerce storefront for registered account members to easily purchase new trainings and senior living resources, such as infection control training for nurses and nursing home infection preventionist training, as they see fit and as often as they like. You can also visit the FAQ page for some helpful tips on how to navigate our materials. To learn more about SeniorLivingU, the services we provide, and how we can provide the best resources for your organization, contact us today. We look forward to helping your team receive the quality assisted living training, senior living training, infection control training for nurses, and general education you’ve been searching for.