At the Rockingham County Rehabilitation Center's Infection Control Fair, innovative and interactive approaches, including demonstrations, quizzes, and engaging activities, significantly promoted infection prevention education, making learning a fun and informative experience.
Educating and reinforcing infection prevention and control practices pose a challenge for facility leaders due to the difficulty in capturing and maintaining staff attention, hindering the retention of crucial information being taught.
The theme for 2023-2024 International Infection Prevention Week was Back to Basics. At the Rockingham County Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Brentwood, New Hampshire, we held a fall fair with several stations, including doffing and doffing, immunizations, general infection control, and more.
Jeseca Wendel, public relations and community outreach manager, said, “Who knew that learning about infection control could be so much fun? Rockingham County Rehabilitation, Nursing Center, and Assisted Living Community’s Infection Control Fair aimed to educate the community about the importance of infection prevention and control measures in health care settings. Thank you to our infection preventionist for making an effort to educate and engage the community on such an important topic.”
Rockingham’s Infection Control Fair
Donning and Doffing. A scarecrow was dressed with 4 errors. She had goggles on the top of her head, a mask under her nose, a gown untied in the back, and gloves under the cuffs of the gown. Staff were asked to look at the scarecrow and take note of the things they were NOT supposed to do.
Immunizations: An influenza clinic (giving influenza vaccines) was set up daily at different times to encompass all staff on all shifts. A table was set up with COVID-19 and influenza vaccine material/education and free COVID-19 tests to take.
General Infection Control: A poster board with general infection prevention education was set up. Two quizzes had the answers on the board. Quiz # 1 General Education, Quiz # 2 Proper order for donning and doffing. There was also a third quiz taken directly from the APIC website with more complex questions, but the answers were at the bottom. The fair was geared towards education, and the thought was that even if they were given the answers, they were reading and hopefully learning. Anyone who could have scored better on a quiz was given further education.
Hand Hygiene hands-on demonstration: Everyone who attended the fair participated in the “Cheeto” hand hygiene demonstration and competency. Everyone was given a Cheeto to crush in their hand to represent germs. They were told that they would not normally be able to use hand sanitizer because their hands were visibly soiled, but they would for this demonstration. The demonstration showed that friction helps lift dirt, grease, and microbes from the skin so they can be rinsed off hands. Friction and rubbing mechanically loosens and removes dirt and bacteria. The more they rubbed, the less grit they could feel from the crushed stuck-on Cheeto. A large poster reminded them of the 5 moments of hand hygiene.
A YouTube video of hand hygiene to the music of “Uptown Funk” played in the background to listen to and watch while completing quizzes. Each person took about 10 to 15 minutes to complete the whole fair. Working together to get the answers was encouraged, and entire departments, such as social and environmental services and activities, participated.
Rachel Russell Leed, BSW, stated, “The infection control fair was very informative and helpful in thinking about the best ways to manage infections in a long-term care setting.
Candy and apples were set out in bowls with pens, stickers, and personal hand sanitizers. Every person was entered into a raffle to win a fall-scented candle. Staff were also able to take a selfie with the selfie frame.
On the last day of Infection Prevention Week, one of the units held a hand hygiene demonstration. Resident volunteers donned surgical gloves and were given a dab of red paint to spread around, simulating hand washing. The residents could see where their gloves didn’t have red paint, and proper hand hygiene education was provided.
The fair was well attended, and staff enjoyed having new and different learning experiences for the basics taught annually.