1.1.1 Overview

In the medical field, one of the first subjects we must learn is the ability to practice proper infection control measures. To provide safe effective care and to protect yourself and your clients, you will need to understand why infection control protocols are used and you must be competent in these protocols. In this first chapter, you will learn foundational concepts you will need to know in order to feel confident in your practice. You will also learn proper terminology so you will feel comfortable conversing with colleagues and clients, take a quick look at the immune system and how vaccines work, and explore how you can apply your knowledge in the field.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Explain what a germ (microbe) is, and use proper terminology when discussing infectious diseases
  • Explain how microbes are transmitted
  • Explain the difference between clean and contaminated in the medical field
  • Explain what is meant by Infection Control Practices

Key Terms

When learning about infection prevention and control, it is essential to first look at the terminology to ensure that you understand everything clearly. These terms will be used throughout this book, so it is important to take the time to master them and practice your recall often.

  • germ
  • microbe
  • microorganism
  • bacteria
  • virus
  • infection
  • pathogen
  • non-pathogen
  • vaccine
  • clean
  • disinfected
  • sterile
  • isolation
  • precautions
  • contaminated
  • soiled

Whenever these terms are first introduced in this chapter, they are bolded. However, if you need additional information about a term than what is provided here, you can research it in The Free Dictionary: Medical Dictionary.


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Personal Care Assistant Copyright © by Jacquelyn McKnight is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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