Infection Control – Hand Hygiene and PPE


Healthcare associated infections (HAIs) are the most common complication for patients in health care settings. They are caused by infectious microorganisms and can be prevented using standardised infection control procedures adhered to by all participants in the health care system. HAIs pose an unnecessary risk to patients, causing pain and suffering, prolonged hospital stays and increased health care costs. Reducing the spread of infection by prevention and control practices is essential for effective clinical care.

Infection prevention and control procedures vary between health care environments. The underlying principles of standard and transmission based precautions, risk management, and patient-centred care can be applied in all settings. Standard precautions are integral to infection control measures and must be used routinely in all health care settings. They involve a range of techniques including regular hand hygiene and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

This module is the first in a series on Infection Prevention and Control: Standard Precautions. It begins by explaining the risks associated with HAIs and the modes of microorganism transmission. It reviews the two primary components of standard precautions: hand hygiene and personal protective equipment. A step-by-step guide of best practice techniques for when to perform hand hygiene and the donning and removal of PPE is included. This module is aimed at all people working in health care and is recommended as an annual update and refresher.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this module participants will be able to:

  • Understand the risk of hospital acquired infections and how infectious agents are spread.
  • Know how to assess the risk for transmission of infectious diseases.
  • Know how to apply measures to prevent the risk of transmission of infectious diseases.
  • Understand the difference between standard and transmission based precautions.
  • dentify the 5 moments of hand hygiene.
  • Know how and when to perform a routine alcohol hand rub.
  • Know how and when to perform a routine hand wash.
  • Understand what equipment is used for personal protection.
  • Know how to don and remove Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and in what order.

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