News Release

REF NO.: 59

SUBJECT: Nursing students hone their knowledge and skills in infection prevention and control

DATE: October 29, 2014

Fourth-year students at Memorial’s School of Nursing will spend much of today, Wednesday, Oct. 29, in a workshop and practice session about the prevention and control of infectious diseases.

Principles of infection prevention and control are a regular part of the student’s curriculum, but with the onset of influenza season, and with infectious diseases such as Ebola and enterovirus D68 making headlines around the world, the session is timely.

“Nurses and nursing students may never see a case of Ebola, but they will care for many patients who have influenza and other infections,” said Dr. Donna Moralejo, associate dean (graduate programs), School of Nursing.

Dr. Moralejo, who has a background in nursing, epidemiology and microbiology, is an infection-control expert. She has played a key role in the development of infection prevention and control guidelines at the national and provincial level. She served as director of education for Infection Prevention and Control-Canada and was recently elected to the board of trustees of the International Federation of Infection Control.

 “Infection prevention and control is not just about Ebola, H1N1, or SARS,” she said. “It’s about our everyday routine practices. It’s about making sure our students understand the principles of infection prevention and control, and can apply them in a variety of situations. Understanding the principles is what will help prepare them for a novel or crisis situation.”

During the workshop, students will engage in group discussions and analyze case studies looking at practical application of Routine Practices and Additional Precautions, the set of guidelines that forms the basis for the Canadian system of infection prevention and control.

They’ll also practise putting on and removing personal protection equipment such as masks, gloves and gowns when providing care to patients with infections.

Dr. Moralejo and faculty members who teach clinical courses will lead the discussions and facilitate the practice exercises.

Media are invited to attend the afternoon laboratory session from 2-2:30 p.m., and speak with faculty members and students in the Learning Resource Centre at the School of Nursing, Health Sciences Centre, in St. John’s.

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