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A national task analysis of infection control practitioners, 1982

Part two: Tasks, knowledge, and abilities for practice
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      Abstract

      Respondents (N = 473) from a randomized stratified sample (N = 600) of U.S. hospital ICPs in a national survey sponsored by the Certification Board of Infection Control were asked to rate specific task, knowledge, and ability statements related to infection control for frequency and importance. The questions included 175 items, of which 99 were for specific tasks and 76 were for knowledge and abilities for practice. Areas covered included patient care practices, infectious diseases, epidemiology and statistics, microbiologic practices, sterilization and disinfection, education, employee health services, and management and communications. A “profile respondent” group (N = 317) was defined as persons most likely to be practicing the full scope of infection control practice and was used to identify key tasks, knowledge, and abilities for practice. Results showed that patient care practices (i.e., suctioning, dressing changes, and catheterization) were rarely performed. The development of infection control policies and procedures were key tasks. Knowledge of microbiology and infectious diseases in order to interpret laboratory reports and other patient data was rated as essential; however, few respondents actually performed laboratory procedures. Epidemiologic principles were frequently used for surveillance and problem investigation. Although presentation of epidemiologic data was rated as important, analytic statistics were rarely used. Assessment of educational needs and teaching were large components of ICPs' activities.
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