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Kelly M. Pyrek

Kelly M. Pyrek has served as editor in chief of Infection Control Today magazine for the past 12 years, and manages a number of ICT-affiliated print and online offerings. Recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists as an award-winning practitioner, she has served as an editorial manager, editor, and writer for newspapers, magazines, wire services and public information bureaus for more than 25 years. She is a graduate of the University of Southern California and is the author of several books on healthcare, forensic science and medico-legal issues.

Ideas for Infection Prevention Week

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I know you are gearing up for Infection Prevention Week, Oct. 14-20, so I’d like to share with readers the various ways ICPs are raising awareness at their facilities. Carol Steinbock, MT (AMT-HEW), the laboratory manager and ICP at Mercy Health Love County Hospital, reports that in this first year as an ICP, she has posted information concerning infection control in the two service boards on the nursing floor and in all the patient rooms above the hand sanitizers. She is also having all staff members watch an instructional video. Steinbock says, “Of critical importance is the new CDC isolation guideline. All the hospital and EMT staff are being taken in shifts of four to seven to watch the DVD and sign in that they have viewed this. It is a great film and gives a lot of good information on Standard Precautions. Our infection control committee agreed that it was well worth the time and money.”

Deb Paul-Cheadle, RN, CIC, of  Metro Health Hospital in Grand Rapids, Mich. Reports, “Every year we hold an open house in one of our conference rooms, opening at 4:30 a.m.  and ending at 11:30 p.m. We focus on a specific part of the body, and have educational posters, pamphlets, etc. explaining the normal flora of this body part, and the pathogenic flora, what it looks like, how it physically presents, and most importantly, how it gets from one place to another, how long it survives in the environment and on one’s hands.  We always present the hand hygiene comparisons unit by unit and by job description, and we administer flu shots. Throughout the year we keep track of all those that had questions or brought concerns to us. For these people we have a present, wrapped with a bow.  It is our way of encouraging ownership of infection prevention. This year we are holding an "Influenza Extravaganza.” Bring a decliner that you have convinced to receive the flu shot, and you will have your name placed in a drawing. Prizes are $100, $50, and $25. We started this four years ago and in the time since, not only has attendance tripled, but last year we gave one-third of the facility staff flu shots on this one day. Comments have been overwhelmingly positive, my favorite being, ‘I learn more here than I do at all  educational events on anything that I attend throughout the year!’ We have seen a tremendous increase in housekeeping, dietary, radiology and physician attendance. And yes, it has become rather expensive, but I guess that is a sign of success.”

If you want to share your Infection Prevention Week ideas, drop me a line at kpyrek@vpico.com and I'll continue to feature these ideas in this blog.

 

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