Field Epidemiology Manual Wiki

Education and training of staff

Last modified at 4/21/2016 7:37 AM by Vladimir Prikazsky

1. Education and training of staff.

Healthcare-associated infections affect millions of patients worldwide every year [1]. The measures for prevention and control of healthcare-asociated infections are widely known in literature [2]. Education and training of healthcare professionals are required to maintain high competencies and are also aimed to provide a continuous updating of skills and knowledge in the rapidly expanding field of infection prevention and control in order to promote the delivery of the best care, encouraging the understanding and following of the prevention evidences. However, healthcare professionals struggle to comply with the evidence based practice.

For these reasons, it is important to understand which kind of education and training could promote a higher compliance with the evidence based practice. Synthesizing the different strategies of learning, the literature usually refers to passive and active learning, where passive learning is the traditional approach (e.g. traditional lectures) and active learning is an instructional approach in which the students engage the material they study through reading, writing, talking, listening and reflecting (e.g. cooperative learning).

Education and training have to promote adherence and recommend best practices as an integral part of providing high-quality care. For such an approach to be successful, hospitals must provide efficient continuous education programs that should be innovative, motivational and tailored to specific health care settings and personnel, considering two simple gold nuggets [3]: (a) learning comes from experience and (b) it is a process, not an outcome.




  1. Allegranzi B, Nejad SB, Combescure C, Graafmans W, Attar H, Donaldson L, et al. Burden of endemic health-care-associated infection in developing countries: systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet. 2011 Jan 15;377(9761):228-41.

  2. Zingg W, Holmes A, Dettenkofer M, Goetting T, Secci F, Clack, L, et al. Hospital organisation, management, and structure for prevention of health-care-associated infection: a systematic review and expert consensus. Lancet Infect Dis. 2015 Feb;15(2):212-24.

  3. Kolb, D. Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development. Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prentice Hall; 1984.

Original contribution form

Cristina Arrigoni and Daniela Miazza, Experimental and Forensic Medicine Department – University of Pavia – Italy.

Anna Maria Grugnetti, Experimental and Forensic Medicine Department – University of Pavia and San Matteo Hospital of Pavia – Italy.

Rosario Caruso, IRCCS Policlinico San Donato Milano – Italy.

Francesco Auxilia , Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, University of Milan.