infection control

Today, the problem of infection control is of extremely important because an effective infection control is an essential condition of the effectiveness of patients’ treatment and health care services. At the same time, infection control is still imperfect in the modern health care system. In this respect, the education of students may be crucial in regard to the improvement of infection control because, if students fail to learn basics of infection control, they will be unable to maintain an effective infection control when they become professionals. In such a context, the research conducted by C.M. Mann and A. Wood, “How much do medical students know about infection control?”, is very important because the results of the study are supposed to reveal the extent to which students are prepared to infection control and implementation of basic strategies of an effective infection control.

The article was found on the ScienceDirect.com, a website containing journal articles. The search of the article was based on the subject, infection control, which allowed identifying articles related to the topic. The choice of the article by C.M. Mann and A. Wood “How much do medical students know about infection control?”was determined by the importance of understanding the effectiveness of students’ learning of infection control because it is obvious that roots of the problem of a poor infection control can be found in the imperfect education of students in this field. In addition, it is quite noteworthy to learn the findings of the researches about students’ knowledge of the problem of infection control because it helps to better understand the extent to which students are interested in the subject and learn the subject.

On analyzing the article, it should be said that the researchers mainly focused on the assessment of the knowledge of third-year medical students on infection control policy and procedures. The study was conducted at the University of Birmingham Medical School, UK. In such a way, the involvement of third-year students was supposed to reveal the extent to which they are informed on infection control policy and procedures. At this point, it should be said that the researchers selected 322 students and 156 out of which returned completed questionnaires. However, the researchers do not precise the demographic of students. To put it more precisely, they do not mention gender, origin of students, etc., which are probably considered to non-substantial by researchers and they did not pay much attention to such variables.

In terms of the study, the researchers mainly used questionnaires which they used to identify the knowledge of students on infection control, and related issues. In fact, the use of questionnaires is quite logical taking into consideration the scope of the research and a relatively short period of time spent on the study. Obviously, it would be much more difficult to use such methods as interview, for instance, though they could have been more effective in relation to the revealing the knowledge and attitude of students to the problem of infection control. At this point, it should be said that the use of interviews could have provided researchers with larger information and data which they could have used for the qualitative analysis of their study, while the use of questionnaires proved to be not very effective in this regard. In fact, questionnaires did not provide ample information for qualitative analysis of the subject of the research, though it was possible to make the general assessment of the knowledge of third-grade students on infection control, but the analysis was mainly quantitative rather than qualitative. For instance, the researchers found out that 58% of students did not know the correct indication for using alcoholic hand gel, 35% did not know the correct use of gloves, etc. In such a way, the researchers got the general statistical information on the basic knowledge of students on infection control. However, this information is apparently insufficient for the qualitative analysis of the subject and, in general, the research is quite superficial because it refers to the broad range of issues related to infection control and it is quite difficult to define whether students are really acquainted in depth with infection control or probably they are just acquainted with some elements of this problem.

In this respect, it is quite noteworthy that the researchers have found out that 49% of medical students thought that there was insufficient emphasis on infection control in their course. In such a way, it is quite logical to presuppose that the existing educational program in relation to infection control is not effective since recognized that the information they receive from their course is insufficient. Hence, the research opens the direction for further researches concerning the problem of the improvement or enlargement of educational programs in regard to infection control. In this respect, it is very important to understand the significance of infection control for the future professional career of medical students. As they become professionals the adequate use of infection control policy and procedures can be crucial for the effectiveness of their work and safety of their patients. At this point a number of ethical issues arise.

Firstly, it is obvious that the main responsibility of educators is to prepare medical students to work in accordance with the established norms and standards concerning infection control. However, the inability of educators to prepare medical students professionally and sufficiently in relation to infection control raises the question of the quality of education and the qualification of students. In such a context, it is not actually medical students’ fault solely that they are not informed on infection control but it is also the fault of their educators, which not perform their professional work effectively. Secondly, it is necessary to understand that it is patients’ health that is under a threat in case of the misuse of infection control policy and procedures by students. In such a context, it is possible to raise the question of professional ethics since health care professionals cannot expose their patients’ health to any threats, while students, being aware that their qualification and professional knowledge in regard to infection control are insufficient, should either to learn more on infection control or avoid treating patients in order not to expose their health to threats.

Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that the research conducted by C.M. Mann and A. Wood “How much do medical students know about infection control?” is very important in regard to the understanding of the current situation in medical education concerning infection control. However, it is necessary to remember that the research is rather general than detailed and the further researches are needed because it is impossible to make definite conclusion on the basis of data collected at one university only.

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