What’s Involved in Infection Control Training?

What’s Involved in Infection Control Training?

Unlike most professions where graduation with a degree is often the end of the formal education process, staying up to date on current practices means that infection control training never really ends. Nurses and other medical specialists who elect to become Infection Control professionals must complete both rigorous certification training as well as ongoing Infection Control Training throughout their career.

Getting Started

Infection control training starts with understanding what biological elements make up an infection or infectious disease, how those elements impact the human body, and how to maintain an environment that deters the growth and spread of the pathogens from one host to another.

Most infection control specialists begin their formal education with by obtaining a Bachelor’s degrees in the Science of Nursing (BSN). Nurses are a foundational element in a healthy health-care setting, and the broad knowledge base gained from a comprehensive nursing education is particularly well-suited as the foundation for dedicated Infection Control training.  After receiving this degree, they must also obtain additional Infection Control training to receive their formal certification as an infection control professional.

Staying Current

Diseases caused by pathogens are not static, but instead, evolve over time as they adapt to their environment. Pathogens are particularly sensitive to environmental factors, such as the biology of the infected host, their exposure to medications while within the body, and even their exposure to external agents they come in contact with between hosts and in the world in general. The resulting constant evolution makes it particularly tricky for scientists to estimate how or where the next infection cycle will emerge. Consequently, it is very challenging for health care professionals to predict or prepare for an infection outbreak.

Accordingly, infection control training must also evolve as disease expression evolves. Every outbreak – and even every infected person –  provides new information about the specific strain of pathogen causing the illness. Researchers take samples of infected tissue to analyze in search of the genetic elements that make the particular strain different from previous strains. This information informs not just the medical personnel working with patients, but also the researchers designing the next iteration of vaccines. Health care schools use the data gleaned from every infection cycle in their continuing infection control training courses.