Institut National de Santé Publique du Québec et Université de Montréal (CANADA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Pages: 6195-6202
ISBN: 978-84-614-7423-3
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain
Despite recent efforts, there is still an urgent need for efficient infection prevention and control (IPC) practices in health care. An online graduate (BA) course has been developed by the Institut national de santé publique du Québec, in collaboration with the Université de Sherbrooke and the IPC network. This course is part of continuing education for nurses in the Quebec health care system in Canada.

The course uses a competency-based approach to facilitate learning and integrate theory with practice. The development required the contribution of a full-time project coordinator and 22 experts in IPC. Several steps were involved: two needs assessment studies were undertaken, 15 core competencies were identified and validated, an efficient educational design was elaborated (aimed competencies and content items, indicators to evaluate the competencies, 8 formative and 5 summative assessments), content drafting by experts, production of 40 technical and education material. Educational support was offered to the content experts.

The course consists of 135 hours (online training, individual work and intensive workshops). The following competencies were identified while designing the course:

• Supporting surveillance program implementation;
• Supporting IPC measures implementation;
• Collaborating with other health professionals and concerned committees;
• Integrating documentary research;
• Communicating efficiently;
• Training patients and their families as well as staff members on efficient IPC practices.

Case studies during workshops using real clinical situations allowed participants to develop problem solving skills. The educational methods used took into account the specific responsibilities of the nurses and facilitated a dynamic interaction. The course includes written and audiovisual material as well as assessment and reference documents.

The project received the Conseil québécois de développement professionnel continu des médecins Award in June 2010 for its importance in IPC continuing professional development, its originality and the repercussions on the health care system as well as its transferability.

While in the initial stages for such a project, it is necessary to train the content experts and the teaching professionals on the competency-based approach. Also, it is important that they learn how to produce material intended for an online interactive training. The support of a professional with expertise in competency-based approach as well as project management is essential. This project has laid the foundation for great changes in IPC teaching practices and for future continuing education initiatives.