Building Educational Practice and Culture in Infection Prevention and Control: A Design-Based Research Study

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Emerging antibiotic resistant organisms and diseases such as Ebola pose significant public health threats. Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) programs are charged with educating healthcare workers (HCWs) to prevent the spread of such microorganisms and infections. Despite ongoing education by Infection Control Professionals (ICPs), HCWs’ adherence to IPAC practice remains low. While education is an expected core competency for ICPs, they are not prepared for this educator role and opportunities for educational professional development are limited. This gap leads to a narrow conceptualization of education, limited application of theory, and research challenges. Relying on conventional teaching methods, ICPs are frustrated with the poor results and are disengaged from their educational efforts. Using Design-based research as an interventional change methodology, the purpose of this research was to begin addressing these problems by designing, developing and implementing an innovative professional development experience in education for a group of ICPs in the Alberta Health Services IPAC program. This professional development experience was situated in the context of a community of learning (CoL) located in the ICPs’ workplace practice. Learning in the CoL was mediated through use of collaborative teaching and learning activities over a one year timeframe. The core interventionist strategy was to have the ICPs create a flipped learning experience the ICPs could use to teach HCWs. Drawing on contemporary constructivist concepts and principles from the Learning Sciences, this research resulted in the creation of an innovative design framework for the educational professional development of ICPs that successfully changed ICPs educational understanding and practice by building their pedagogical expertise and developing their identity as educators through the acquisition of knowledge, language and experience with which to reflect on and explore their teaching and learning practices. This study demonstrated the value of using DBR to explore teaching and learning in the context of a healthcare workplace setting where the focus is on the production and delivery of activities other than teaching and learning. The application of DBR to IPAC practice, whose focus is often to create change, suggests that DBR has potential use beyond the design and improvement of teaching and learning environments.
Meyers, G. L. (2017). Building Educational Practice and Culture in Infection Prevention and Control: A Design-Based Research Study (Doctoral thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from doi:10.11575/PRISM/25183