Practice analysis for infection control and epidemiology in the new millennium
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BACKGROUND: The Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology appointed an advisory committee to conduct a practice analysis (PA) of infection control professionals (ICPs) to identify current practices of ICPs. Results of the PA would assist in the development of a revised certification examination. METHODS: Five thousand seven hundred fifty-three questionnaires were distributed to ICPs in the United States and in Canada, as well as to a subsample of ICPs in other countries. Decision rules and criteria were applied to each identified task in the PA. RESULTS: A total of 1306 responses were available for analysis, for a 24% return rate. The majority of the respondents were certified in infection control, had a background as a registered nurse, and worked in a community hospital with 200 or fewer beds. Six major categories, with 135 tasks, were identified in the PA. The following 2 new categories were included: education and research and infection control aspects of employee health. CONCLUSIONS: The PA reflects current changes in the practice of infection prevention/control and applied epidemiology in the United States and Canada. The test specifications accepted for adoption by the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology will be used to build all examination forms for a certification program for ICPs.
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