Working with officials at Johns Hopkins and the CDC, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology has developed online educational materials to teach medical professionals how to use personal protective equipment when treating Ebola patients.
In the three months since the first Ebola patient was treated in the U.S., one of the biggest questions facing the medical community has been one of training. How can medical facilities ensure that healthcare workers are taking all the steps necessary to protect themselves and others from infection?
One association hopes it has the answer to that question. Working in tandem with the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) has created an online program designed to teach medical professionals how to properly use personal protective equipment when attending Ebola patients.
APIC and Johns Hopkins worked together on the course at the request of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A team of nearly 40 people created the educational program, which follows the guidance CDC has previously offered to medical officials. APIC representative Pamela Falk noted that the educational offering could take some of the burden off of those in the medical field who are responsible for such training.
“Infection preventionists have been working around the clock to prepare clinicians for Ebola by training and disseminating information,” Falk said in a news release. “This innovative program will assist [infection preventionists] in training health care personnel on proper [personal protective equipment] use through visual demonstrations put in the context of CDC’s new [personal protective equipment] guidance.”
Since the outbreak first began, APIC has been out in front of the issue, recently speaking out against a decision by the states of New York and New Jersey to quarantine frontline healthcare workers returning from West Africa. The outcry by APIC, Doctors Without Borders, and othersled to the release of nurse Kaci Hickox from mandatory quarantine at a New Jersey hospital.
The new personal protective equipment training materials are currently available on the CDC website and will soon be made available on iTunes U.