Education and Training

Irena Kenneley, PhD, APRN-BC, CIC Assistant Professor

Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, OH

Original Publication:
November 25, 2014


Few infection preventionists receive formal instruction in how to present intellectually exciting learning-centered activities, to lead engaging discussions, or to relate to adult learners in the healthcare environment in ways that promote motivation and independent learning. The learning environment in healthcare settings is unique because of the diversity of healthcare personnel. Diversity includes characteristics such as age, cultural background, ethnicity, education, and learning styles. Basic principles of adult learning have applied to the infection preventionist in the role of clinical educator with all types of healthcare personnel. These principles are applicable in a variety of clinical settings. Healthcare's complexity and rapid changes require that training activities also address issues of literacy, cultural diversity, cross-training, and technological advances. Successful educational activities in healthcare should be informed by learning theories and the educational needs of the learner population, the institution, and the community as they relate to infection prevention. Infection preventionists should provide an appropriate climate for learning as well as demonstrate creativity and flexibility.