Examining the specific epidemiological elements of the infection control nurses' work it is clear that the identification of the prevalence and monitoring of the spread of infection are among the most important roles that a nurse serves. Learn more on a career as an Infection Control Nurse or have research written on the elements of infection control that are a part of a nurses' daily duties and responcibilities.
Topics on Infection Control in Nursing include the following:
- Highlight the elements of a career as an Infection Control Nurse
- Explore Infection Prevention in Nursing within the hospital setting
- Trace the history of Infection Control and how it has changed over the last 200 years
Research notes that the presence of nosocomial infections represents one of the most challenging issues that must be addressed in the context of providing long-term healthcare. While the mortality and morbidity of patients in a long-term care setting is higher than what is seen in other clinical care settings, the fact that nosocomial infections can contribute to increases in mortality and morbidity brings to light the importance of reducing these infections.
To effectively achieve reduce the spread of infection in healthcare facilities, the infection control nurse must systematically collect data on outbreaks, their (suspected) root cause and the number of patients implicated. Through this data collection, the infection control nurse is able to effectively determine how the outbreak started and how it effectively spread through the facility. With this information, the infection control nurse can develop protocols to prevent the spread of infection in the future. Although the recommendations made may be relatively simple, it is clear that these issues must be addressed in order to reduce the spread of infection in this specific environment.
In addition to identifying trends in the development of infection in a healthcare facility, the infection control nurse is also charged with the responsibility of identifying "at-risk" patients that may be more susceptible for spreading infection or contracting infection. By identifying patients that are considered to be "at-risk" the infection control nurse can effectively help reduce the spread of infection by developing specific protocols that can facilitate this end. By recognizing those individuals that are most susceptible to developing or spreading infection, the infection control nurse can reduce the risk by eliminating the root cause of infection and primary method of transmission.
Through hhe nureses' work at the long-term care facility the infection control nurse has been able to effectively identify the specific situations in which an outbreak could potentially occur. This information is used as a preventative measure to improve outcomes with respect to the development of infection in this care setting. Clearly, the most salient means for improving health outcomes for patients is to ensure that they do not become sick in the first place. As such, the specific measures that have been put in place to identify those at risk for the development or spread of infection makes it possible for the entire organization to work to prevent the spread of infection.
Finally, the ability of the infection control nurse to educate patients, their families and the nursing care staff about the importance of prevention is also a key epidemiological function. Research demonstrates that infection control nurses must be able to effectively provide education on the development and spread of disease such that those working in the care setting can take the necessary steps to reduce the overall spread of infection. In this context, education becomes a central feature of the development of the infection control nurse.