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An online course improves nurses' awareness of their role as antimicrobial stewards in nursing homes

Published:February 08, 2017DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2017.01.002

      Highlights

      • Free online course for nurses working in community long-term care facilities.
      • Six interactive modules about infectious diseases, sample collection, and communication.
      • Opportunities for nurses to support antimicrobial stewardship embedded in the course.
      • Course participants reported increased knowledge and confidence.
      • Empowering nurses may enhance overall efforts to improve antibiotic use.

      Background

      To support the role of nurses as active proponents of antimicrobial stewardship in long-term care facilities, we developed an educational intervention consisting of a free online course comprised of 6 interactive modules. Here, we report the effect of the course on the knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes toward antimicrobial stewardship of nurses working in long-term care facilities.

      Methods

      We used a paired pre- and postcourse survey instrument to assess nurses' knowledge regarding the care of long-term care facility residents with infections and attitudes and beliefs regarding antimicrobial stewardship.

      Results

      There were 103 respondents, registered nurses or licensed practical nurses, who completed the pre- and postsurveys. Their mean knowledge scores improved from 75% (precourse) to 86% (postcourse, P < .001). After the course, nurses' agreement that their role influences whether residents receive antimicrobials increased significantly (P < .001).

      Conclusions

      The online course improves nurses' knowledge regarding the care of long-term care facility residents with infections and improves their confidence to engage in antimicrobial stewardship activities. Empowering nurses to be antimicrobial stewards may help reduce unnecessary antibiotic use among institutionalized older adults.

      Key Words

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