Roles, responsibilities and scope of practice: describing the ‘state of play’ for infection control professionals in Australia and New Zealand

Hall, Lisa, Halton, Kate, Macbeth, Deborough, Gardner, Anne, & Mitchell, Brett (2015) Roles, responsibilities and scope of practice: describing the ‘state of play’ for infection control professionals in Australia and New Zealand. Healthcare Infection, 20(1), pp. 29-35.

View at publisher

Abstract

Background

In the past decade the policy and practice context for infection control in Australia and New Zealand has changed, with infection control professionals (ICPs) now involved in the implementation of a large number of national strategies. Little is known about the current ICP workforce and what they do in their day-to-day positions. The aim of this study was to describe the ICP workforce in Australia and New Zealand with a focus on roles, responsibilities, and scope of practice.

Methods

A cross-sectional design using snowball recruitment was employed. ICPs completed an anonymous web-based survey with questions on demographics; qualifications held; level of experience; workplace characteristics; and roles and responsibilities. Chi-squared tests were used to determine if any factors were associated with how often activities were undertaken.

Results

A total of 300 ICPs from all Australian states and territories and New Zealand participated. Most ICPs were female (94%); 53% were aged over 50, and 93% were employed in registered nursing roles. Scope of practice was diverse: all ICPs indicated they undertook a large number and variety of activities as part of their roles. Some activities were undertaken on a less frequent basis by sole practitioners and ICPs in small teams.

Conclusion

This survey provides useful information on the current education, experience levels and scope of practice of ICPs in Australia and New Zealand. Work is now required to establish the best mechanisms to support and potentially streamline scope of practice, so that infection-control practice is optimised.

Impact and interest:

8 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™
5 citations in Web of Science®

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 91336
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Infection control, scope of practice
DOI: 10.1071/HI14037
ISSN: 1835-5617
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > CLINICAL SCIENCES (110300) > Infectious Diseases (110309)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Deposited On: 17 Dec 2015 03:22
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2015 22:51

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page