Hospital acquired infections (HAI) are a major cause of morbidity, mortality, and excess cost in the US. Studies have shown poor infection prevention and control (IPC) knowledge and practices among medical students and lack of emphasis during medical school. We developed an early, active learning pilot IPC curriculum to assess feasibility and acceptability.
All second year medical students at Albert Einstein College of Medicine participated in a two and a half hour Quality Improvement and Safety session as part of the Microbiology and Infectious Diseases course, moderated by IPC and Infectious Diseases practitioners. In small groups, students practiced proper donning and doffing of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for different clinical scenarios and performed hand hygiene using UV-reactive wash (Glo Germ™) to identify areas for improvement. Students also used HAI toolkits comprised of recommendations from the CDC, professional society and local guidelines in a team-based learning exercise to identify high-impact IPC opportunities. Following the session, students answered an online survey and received written resources on PPE and HAI prevention. IPC questions were incorporated into the course final examination.
185 students participated in the session and 75 completed the online surveys. Survey comments revealed a desire among students to incorporate IPC into the curriculum, and positive attitude toward active learning modalities such as donning and doffing of PPE and handwashing. Eighty eight percent of students rated the session on PPE and handwashing as ‘Effective’ or ‘Very Effective’ in achieving learning objectives. Many students requested additional practice in these areas, as well as training in safe disposal of sharps, prior to beginning the third year clerkships. The majority of students were able to answer IPC exam questions about isolation, PPE, and HAI correctly (range 79-97%).
Conclusion: Active and team-based learning modalities are an effective and acceptable model for early IPC education among medical students. Based on our experience we plan to expand this session and integrate active IPC learning opportunities throughout the clinical clerkships.
A. Adeyeye, None
B. Ostrowsky, None