To help health care professionals meet the demands of the rapidly expanding field of infection prevention and control, American Sentinel University has launched a new certificate program in this high-demand proficiency. Requiring just 15 credit hours of course work and taking on average just 10 months to complete, the program is perfect for anyone wanting an academic foundation of knowledge to effectively participate in an infection control team – or to carry out routine hospital tasks with an awareness of infection control procedures and goals.
Those who might benefit include:
Operating room technicians
Medical equipment managers
Public health workers
Any other health care professional with at least a bachelor’s level degree
The career outlook
There are several factors driving the industry’s need for skilled, experienced infection control professionals. The rise of “superbugs” like MRSA is one, putting hospitals under increased pressure to keep patients safe from these antibiotic-resistant pathogens. And certain types of hospital-acquired infections (catheter-associated UTIs, ventilator-associated pneumonia, etc.) can no longer be billed to Medicare to Medicaid. As other payers follow suit in expecting hospitals to prevent these events – and absorb the costs when they do occur – hospitals are increasingly under the gun to implement proactive, evidence-based strategies for preventing infection and are assembling multi-disciplinary teams to design comprehensive programs. New strains of influenza and emerging diseases like SARS have lead to a similar emphasis on infection control by community and public health initiatives.
These trends mean that anyone working in a health care setting could benefit from an expanded knowledge of infection prevention and control measures, and could apply that knowledge to further their employer’s patient safety initiative. And for anyone looking to expand their career opportunities by acquiring in-demand specialty, an academic background in infection control is a smart move toward gaining proficiency in the field.
A curriculum aligned with the new APIC competency model
Earlier in 2012, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control & Epidemiology (APIC) announced its first model for infection preventionist competency. The model outlines the skills needed to advance the field in general, and to direct professional development of infection control professionals in all career stages. It was created in recognition of current demands on the health care industry. (You can read all about the new competency model in a white paper that appears in the May 2012 issue of the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC), the official journal of APIC.)
American Sentinel’s new certificate curriculum is aligned with this important new competency model, which emphasizes those areas that will be especially critical in the next several years. Core knowledge comes directly from the latest evidence and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, as well as from APIC. As always with American Sentinel’s health care programs, we also emphasize critical thinking and leadership skills.
The certificate’s five courses (15 credit hours) focus on:
- Principles of epidemiology
- Identification of the infectious disease process
- Infection prevention and control
- Design of a surveillance system
- Collection and interpretation of surveillance data
Plus, and as always, American Sentinel features:
- Flexible, online format
- Affordable tuition
- Dedicated success advisors
This certificate is one of the few educational programs available for an infection preventionist to gain additional credentials in this area of expertise. For more information, please click here.
American Sentinel University is an innovative, accredited provider of online nursing degrees, including RN to BSN, RN to MSN, and programs that prepare nurses for a specialty in case management, infection control, and executive leadership.