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Starts at $9.98 per contact hour
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8 hours $7.98
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20 hours $5.98
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Infection Control Basics

1.0 Contact Hours
Target Audience: Nurses, healthcare professionals, and interested individuals
Purpose/Goal: The outcome of this course is for the learner to be able to describe basic infection control measures used to prevent the transmission of diseases in the healthcare setting.
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Each year, lives are lost due to the spread of infections in hospitals and other healthcare settings. Infection control procedures are a vital part of health care and patient safety measures used by every member of the healthcare team both in the United States and globally.

Upon completion of the course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Identify the role of healthcare-associated infections in patient safety.
  • List the five most common, preventable healthcare-associated infections.
  • Explain the human biome.
  • Discuss the five categories of Standard Precautions.
  • List the three elements necessary for disease transmission.
  • Explain the three categories of Transmission-Based Precautions.

Wash your hands! Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze! Don’t recap that needle! Be sure to gown and glove when you take care of infectious patients! Every clinician has heard these words from their first day of training. They are essential instructions and prevent the spread of disease to patients as well as healthcare providers.

Every year, lives are lost because of the spread of infections in hospitals. Healthcare professionals are a key element of prevention and can take important steps to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. These steps are part of a standard infection control process for all healthcare providers (U. S. National Library of Medicine, 2017). The promotion of a safe climate is the cornerstone of the prevention of pathogen transmission in every healthcare setting (World Health Organization [WHO], 2007).

Healthcare-associated infection (HCAI) is a major problem for patient safety and its surveillance and prevention must be a first priority in all healthcare settings. HCAIs can lead to the following (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2017b; WHO, 2009):

  • Prolonged hospital stays
  • Long-term disability
  • Increased resistance of microorganisms to antimicrobials
  • Massive additional financial burdens to healthcare organizations, patients, and communities
  • High costs for health care for patients and their families
  • Excessive (unnecessary) deaths

The five most common, costly, preventable, and well-tracked healthcareassociated infections are (Burns, 2014; CDC, 2015; Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2017):

  • Surgical site infections (SSI)
  • Central-line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI)
  • Catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI)
  • Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP)
  • Clostridium difficile infection (CDI)

In developed countries, HCAI affects 5% to 15% of patients and can affect between 9% and 37% of those admitted to intensive care units (ICUs). In the United States, the HCAI incidence is approximately 4.5% of patients annually with approximately 99,000 deaths attributable to them. The economic impact of HCAIs is more than $6.5 billion in the United States. In Europe, approximately 5 million HCAIs occur annually, costing more than $13 to $24 billion euros and contributing to approximately 50,000 deaths per year (WHO, 2009).

International and national guidelines have been established to prevent and control the spread of infection and address a broader scope of issues than in previous isolation guidelines. These updated guidelines have been created because of the following (CDC, 2017a):

  • The emergence of new pathogens (such as severe acute respiratory syndrome [SARS], coronavirus [CoV] associated with SARS, avian influenza in humans, etc.)
  • Renewed concerns for evolving pathogens (such as Clostridium difficile, noroviruses, community-associated multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus [MRSA])
  • The development of new therapeutic regimens (such as gene therapy)
  • Increasing concern for the threat of bioweapons attacks

Many factors impact the incidence of HCAIs, including the education and knowledge of staff about infection control and prevention measures. However, there is also powerful evidence that medical procedures, antibiotic use, patient characteristics, and organizational characteristics (such as nurse staffing levels and composition as well as the establishment of a safety culture) greatly impact the adherence to recommended infection control practices by healthcare personnel. These characteristics are considered vital factors in preventing the transmission of infectious agents (CDC, 2017a; Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2017).

Complete the course post exam (CE Test) with a score of 80% or greater. Complete all fields of the course evaluation form. Certificate of Completion is provided once the course post exam is passed per criteria above.

  • American Board of Managed Care Nursing
  • ANCC - American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • AOTA - American Occupational Therapy Association
  • ASWB - Association of Social Work Boards
  • California Board of Behavioral Sciences
  • California Board of Registered Nursing
  • California Department of Health, Aid, and Technician Certification Section
  • District of Columbia Board of Nursing
  • Florida Board of Nursing
  • Florida Board of Nursing - Certified Nursing Assistants
  • Florida Board of Respiratory Care
  • Florida Council of Dietetics and Nutrition
  • Florida Council of Licensed Midwifery
  • NAADAC - The National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors
  • NCBTMB -National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork
  • Florida Board of Massage Therapists


Practice Level:


Content Focus:

Domain of OT

Course Expires:

September 09, 2021

  • Caroline Young, MPH
  • Cyndie Koopsen, RN, BSN, MBA, HNB-BC, RN-BC, HWNC-BC
Jurisdictional Requirements:

Continuing education (CE) licensing requirements vary by jurisdiction, are not well defined, and may change. These CE requirements may vary in terms of the number of hours required to the types of courses that must be taken. ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC recommends you contact your licensing board or accrediting organization for the latest continuing education requirements of your state or territory. Compliance with CE requirements is the responsibility of the individual health care provider. Health care providers must understand the CE requirements in their jurisdictions, and be sure they are up-to-date on any rule changes that affect their license. For further information, please see our Accreditation Information.

Accommodations for Disabilities:

Every effort will be made to accommodate your special needs. To request accommodations, please contact us.

Conflicts of Interest and Relevant Financial Relationships:

The authors/planning committee members have no conflicts of interests or relevant financial relationships to declare relevant to this activity.

Commercial Support:

No commercial support has been received for this activity.

Non-endorsement of products:

Accreditation refers to recognition of continuing nursing education only and does not imply ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC approval or endorsement of any commercial product.

Off-label Use of Products:

None of the authors intend to discuss off-label uses of drugs, mechanical devices, biologics, or diagnostics not approved by the FDA for use in the United States.