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Education and training programmes for infection prevention and control professionals: mapping the current opportunities and local needs in European countries

Tsioutis C, Birgand G, Bathoorn E, Deptula A, Ten Horn L, Castro-Sánchez E, Săndulescu O, Widmer AF, Tsakris A, Pieve G, Tacconelli E, Mutters NT

Background: Studies have repeatedly highlighted the need for homogenisation of training content and opportunities in infection prevention and control (IPC) across European countries.

Objectives: To map current training opportunities for IPC professionals, define local needs and highlight differences, across 11 European countries (Cyprus, France, England, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain, Switzerland).

Sources: From July 2018 to February 2019, IPC experts directly involved in IPC training and education in their countries and/or internationally were invited to complete a prespecified set of questions in order to provide a detailed description of IPC training opportunities and needs in their country.

Conclusions: IPC training among nurses and doctors varies greatly across countries, with differences in content and type of training (e.g., standardised curriculum, educational programme, clinical experience) duration, as well as in assessment and recognition/accreditation. The observed heterogeneity in IPC training between European countries can be eliminated through establishment of interdisciplinary region-wide training programmes, with common learning objectives, shared know-how and supported by national and international professional bodies.

Keywords: Certification; Education; Infection control; Infection prevention; Qualifications; Training.

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