Infection Control

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About the course

Infection Control

This course will look at various different aspects, and considerations, for infection control. Areas such as theatre, including staff attire, and patient preparation will be covered, we will also look at hand hygiene, products available to use, cleaning and disinfection, including the selection of disinfection and also antibiotic use and misuse, and the incidence of multidrug-resistant infections.

Session 1: Principles of Biosecurity

Veterinary clinics may act as reservoirs of human and animal pathogens, and consequently play a role in the dissemination of infectious agents into the general population, with potential health implications. Veterinary staff is faced with the inherent risk of zoonotic disease from contact with both healthy and ill animals. These factors all highlight why infection control is an important aspect of veterinary practice. This first session will look at the following aspects of biosecurity:

  • Routes of transmission
  • Principles of biosecurity and creating an infection control (biosecurity) strategy
  • Hand hygiene – aims, how it can be achieved, suitability of products
  • Personal protective equipment – how to select appropriate PPE, how it should be used (and removed)
  • Cleaning and Disinfection
  • Laundry

Session 2: Hospital Acquired infections (HAIs)

Hospital-acquired, or nosocomial, infections may be localized or systemic and are acquired by the patient for reasons, other than infection, normally due to the presence of an infectious agent, or toxin, which was not present or incubating, when the patient was admitted to the veterinary practice. Hospital-acquired infections are commonly acquired by humans following hospitalization, with bloodstream infections being the eighth leading cause of death in the US, and with 5-10% of patients acquiring infections from human hospitals. Aspects to be discussed include:

  • Costs associated with HAIs
  • Carrying out surveillance
  • Commonly encountered SSIs
  • Surgical site infection
  • Catheter-associated infections
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Pneumonia

Session 3: Surgical Considerations

Surgical site infections are most common nosocomial or HAI in surgical patients. We know that complete prevention of HAIs is impossible, but the inclusion of strategies aimed to limit infection should be present in all hospital situations.  This session will look at interventions that should be considered within the hospital environment for the prevention of SSIs including:

  • Operating theatre design
  • Patient preparation including surgical site disinfection
  • Surgeon preparation, including hand asepsis
  • Post-operative care
  • Instrument cleaning and sterilization
  • Assessing efficacy of sterilization

Session 4: Working with Infectious Patients

Preventing infection in critically ill patients is an important consideration for each individual patient.    There is very little research currently to guide best practice for veterinary patients however many resources available from the human medical field.  Veterinary infection control practices tend to be more diligently followed in situations where zoonotic diseases are under consideration, e.g. Leptospirosis. Contagious animal diseases also tend to heighten awareness and prompt effective implementation of infection control practices. This session will look at the following aspects of dealing with infectious patients:

  • Barrier nursing
  • Transmission of infection
  • Creating the isolation unit
  • Nursing patients in isolation
  • Multidrug resistance
  • Antimicrobial stewardship


Vet CPD Online Tutored Courses take approximately 8 hours to complete and can be completed at your own pace and at any time over the course’s 3-week period. There are webinars to watch, downloadable course notes and clinical cases to work through, plus – what makes our courses unique – a busy clinical forum where questions and answers are posted and where delegates have access to the instructor for the duration of the course. This always generates some lively discussions and the idea is that no one should leave a course with any unanswered questions.



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