The COVID-19 pandemic has been a wake-up call for many in the healthcare industry. News reports were common, particularly early in the pandemic, of a lack of personal protective equipment like N95 masks. At many facilities and nursing homes, gaps in infection control policies and practices surfaced as COVID-19 infections and deaths spread among elderly patients.
Infection control experts hope the tragic lessons learned during the pandemic will result in a greater appreciation of the risks associated with disease pathogens and steps that can be taken to reduce their spread.
“The good news is I think people have a much healthier respect for infection prevention as a result of the pandemic,” said Ann Marie Pettis, BSN, RN, CIC, FAPIC, President of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). “I do think that healthcare workers are taking infection prevention much more seriously.”