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Module 8
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Session 1

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the concept of risk recognition, especially in healthcare. 

  • Apply the concept of risk recognition to infection control actions. 


Key Take Aways:

  • Risk recognition is seeing the potential for a problem to happen. You see risk every day at home and at work, and you take steps to minimize it. 

  • You can help control infections in healthcare by learning to recognize the risks for germs to spread and cause infection, and not letting it happen. 

  • Healthcare is a unique setting – we consider germs differently in healthcare than we do in other places, like at home or in the community. 

  • The work that we do in healthcare presents many opportunities for germs to spread. 

  • Everyone, no matter your training or role, can recognize an infection risk and take action to keep germs from spreading.

Session 2

Learning objectives:

  • Explain the five elements needed for germs to spread and cause infection. 

  • Describe the four most common pathways for germ spread in healthcare.

Key Take Aways:

  • At least five elements are needed for a germ to spread and cause an infection: a “reservoir” for the germ to live in; a “pathway” for the germ to move out of the reservoir; a person to infect; the ability to get around the body’s defenses; and the ability for the germ to survive. 

  • Infection control actions at any one of these key points stop germs from spreading from reservoirs through pathways and causing infection. 

  • In most cases, there are a few main ways that germs are spread in healthcare: through touch; when they’re breathed in; through splashes and sprays to the eyes, nose, or mouth; and through clinical care tasks that bypass or break down the body’s natural defenses, like needlesticks and chemotherapy. 

  • When you understand how germs spread and cause infection, then the infection control actions you take every day to keep them from spreading make more sense – and become second nature.

Session 3

Learning objectives:

  • Recognize tasks in healthcare that can cause germs to move between and among reservoirs.

  • Recognize when to apply infection control actions to limit the spread of germs. 


Key Take Aways:

  • Germs are found in certain places – called reservoirs – and need a pathway to spread to other places and people. 

  • Things we do in healthcare can be pathways for germs to be carried from one reservoir to another, or into spaces that are not supposed to have any germs. 

  • When you understand where germs live and how they might be moved from one place to another or to people, you can recognize the risk for it to happen. Everyone, no matter your training or role, can recognize an infection control risk. 

  • When you recognize risks for germs to spread, you can choose the right infection control actions to keep it from happening, protecting your patients and yourself.

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