Preventing the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious disease will require ongoing infection control training and education. Project Firstline (PFL) is a national infection control and prevention training initiative from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) being led by the South Dakota Foundation for Medical Care (SDFMC) in partnership with the South Dakota Department of Health.

Cheri Fast

“We surveyed 1,900 South Dakotans to find infection control needs and gaps in training and how workers best retain and receive education,” commented Fast. “The learning needs assessment was open to a diverse group of workers, including those from hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, home care settings, public service facilities, and schools.”

Top Infection Control Training Needs

Infection Control protocols for vulnerable populations 41%
Strategies for putting Infection Control into practice 41%
COVID-19 procedures 37%
Source control (how infections are transmitted) 33%
Environmental cleaning practices 24%

Fast shared additional response insights, “While conducting the listening sessions, we learned that 85 percent of respondents have had infection control training, yet many challenges remain. The need for ongoing education and better training on infection control was communicated loud and clear.

For example, workers say they want – and need – more training in such areas as the use of PPE, proper cleaning protocols, and compliance with COVID-19 guidelines. People need to understand what to do and why they are doing it. If they understand why a procedure is important, the chances of implementing it are more likely.

One of the most significant takeaways is that our frontline staff will always protect people and put them first, even against the toughest challenges. We must take a closer look at how infection control measures are being carried out and what this means for the safety of patients and workers.”

Cheri Fast, RN | PFL Manager
Charlotte Hofer, MA | Communications Director