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    5 ways to conduct infection control training for your office

    Infection control training doesn’t have to be boring or redundant. Instead, look for new ways to engage your staff.



    Decide who will lead

    The trainer presenting the material can differ based on the material and how it is to be offered. If someone from the office conducts training, generally it is the infection prevention coordinator. Consultants and trainers can also deliver educational instruction.

    “You can work with very credible consultants and bring in a consultant who can really help to do the training,” says Kathy Eklund, RDH, director of cccupational health and safety at The Forsyth Institute. “You want to make sure it’s very specific to the setting and specific to the policies and procedures of that setting. How are they applying the recommendations to ensure they’re in compliance? And how are you doing the training to ensure everybody understands what’s to be done and is consistent in doing that?”

    Within the practice, training is ideally conducted by the infection prevention coordinator.

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    “One of their roles is education and training staff — both new staff as well as your annual training, as well as when things arise that need to be addressed,” Eklund says. “You don’t always have to wait an entire year to do education and training. It may be that you’ve changed products or devices or you see a trend when you’re doing some evaluations and you want to bring everybody together to talk about it, as opposed to saying, ‘We only do training once a year.’ Minimally, that’s true, but you should be doing intermittent training by various triggers.”

    Daw adds that if the infection control training is also designed to fulfill OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens requirement, then the trainer should be experienced with the components of the standard. Per OSHA, individuals may conduct the training provided they are “Knowledgeable in the subject matter covered by the elements contained in the training program as it relates to the workplace. One way, but not the only way, knowledge can be demonstrated is the fact that the person received specialized training.”

    Eklund notes the Organization for Safety Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP) has resources, tools and training materials for infection prevention coordinators.

    “The infection prevention coordinator should be knowledgeable in relevant current CDC recommendations, OSHA regulations, and other state and local specific requirements,” Eklund says. “And that depends upon the setting. In addition to the resources and tools on the OSAP website, each year in January, OSAP holds a boot camp. The boot camp is three solid days of education and training on infection prevention and safety. It helps individuals to be able to go back into their own settings to not only manage their own programs, but also to be able to do some internal education and training.”


    Robert Elsenpeter
    Robert Elsenpeter is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Dental Products Report and Digital Esthetics. He is also the author ...


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