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Johns Hopkins Leads Effort to Improve Training for Health Care Professionals in PPE Use

CDC and Johns Hopkins Develop Ebola Training Modules for Health Care Workers

Johns Hopkins Medicine led the creation of an interactive online training program for nurses and physicians based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Ebola guidance for health care workers in the proper putting on and taking off of personal protective equipment.

Ebola PPE Training Modules for Health Care Professionals

One of the most complex aspects for doctors and nurses in caring for a patient with Ebola virus disease is the act of effectively putting on and removing personal protective equipment (PPE). Mastering these two processes is critical to preventing transmission of the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed written guidelines for properly wearing and removing protective equipment for frontline health care workers, but wanted to ensure that training about the protocols was presented as simply as possible.

Johns Hopkins Medicine was asked by the CDC to lead technical and infection prevention experts from across the country to coordinate the design of an interactive Web-based learning program on the proper use of PPE for nurses and physicians and all health care workers who might encounter patients at risk of developing Ebola virus disease.

Collaborative Development Across Multiple Fields

Staff in PPE equipment

Through this effort, the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, with the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), are bringing together infection control experts, health educators and other specialists from across the country to develop training videos for health care workers.

These educational resources will explain how best to put on PPE (called donning), the safe removal of the PPE (called doffing), and how team members work together monitoring each other to ensure safety during each process.

The collaborative development of the training videos unites experts in patient safety, nursing, infection control, human factors engineering and instructional videography from across Johns Hopkins Medicine, APIC, CDC and Miami University of Ohio.

All three modules will be available for free on the CDC’s website next week and later for the millions of iOS users around the world on iTunes U. 

Experienced Simulation and Nursing Experts Weigh In

“People in general are so scared about Ebola, and they don’t understand how hard it can be to take on and off this protective equipment,” says Sandy Swoboda, an intensive care nurse at Johns Hopkins Hospital and a simulation educator and clinical researcher with the Johns Hopkins schools of medicine and nursing. “To an untrained eye, it looks easy, but there are specific procedures and steps that you have to follow. A misstepcan lead to a potentially negative health outcome.”

As part of the development of the training materials, the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing is providing an educational simulation environment, staffed with both nursing students and experts who have been in the field for more than 30 years. The Johns Hopkins Simulation Center is a translational research site vital for creating the gold standard in patient safety and medical teaching. It is used regularly by current and future health care profesisonals to improve safety within patient care.  In this state-of-the-art facility, students, trainees and practitioners can hone their skills, refine advanced techniques and learn valuable social interactive tools for delivering important news to patients.  

Designed to Work Across the Health Care Spectrum

The multi-disciplinary team is ensuring that the safety protocol training will also work for community hospitals in the event that a patient infected with Ebola first receives treatment at a small hospital which may be more limited in staff and resources. 

Innovating for Safety

“This is a unique time in health care where collaboration between public, private, and government entities is essential to help solve this new crisis,” says Peter Pronovost, senior vice president for patient safety and quality improvement at Johns Hopkins Medicine, and director of the Armstrong Institute. “This innovative environment has prompted spirited discussions from different areas of expertise, and these types of respectful conversations result in a better resource for nurses and physicians, and an overall better health outcome for dedicated care providers across our nation.”

As seen in the 2016 Biennial Report. Learn more.

The final training modules will be shared by the CDC with health care personnel across the country and will soon be available for free on iTunes U.