1.2.1 Overview

The previous chapter covered germs, microorganisms, and how they are transmitted, to give you a basic understanding of germs that are a constant part of our world. You were also introduced to the basics of the immune system—how the body responds to infections and the ways vaccines work to combat the effects of infections in our systems. This chapter builds on what you have already learned, covering infection control concerns you will face and the methods you will need to understand and learn to practice in order to reduce pathogens in your environment.

It is inevitable that you will face microorganisms/pathogens every day, but using your knowledge of these microorganisms/pathogens, the way your body works to protect you against them and the ways you can protect yourself from them will allow you to break the chain of infection.

Learning Objectives

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

  • Explain Healthcare Acquired Infections and Multi Drug Resistant Organisms
  • Describe the chain of infection
  • Describe the modes of transmission
  • Recognize signs and symptoms of Infection
  • Identify types of PPE and their uses
  • Explain proper donning and doffing of PPE
  • Describe respiratory hygiene

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.

  • Healthcare Acquired/Associated Infections (HAI)
  • Multidrug resistant organisms (MDRO)
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Respiratory Hygiene
  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Routine/standard Precautions
  • Contact precautions
  • Droplet precautions
  • Airborne precautions
  • Alcohol-based hand rub

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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