Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) Nurses are responsible for the provision of quality care in a safe environment for the patients and staff in clinic, and participate in multiple aspects of the IPAC program.
IPAC nurses work in the community and primary care setting and act as a member of the primary healthcare team. Their work includes surveillance, prevention and control of infections within CAF health care and local facilities.
The required tasks for this occupational group include the following :
a. deliver the required National IPAC programs at the clinic based on the local needs, including immunizations as a back-up primary immunizer after completion of the Certification Program in Immunization Competencies and according to Policies and Guidance (P&Gs);
b. identify infectious disease processes in the clinic (e.g. the correlation of clinical signs and symptoms with infectious disease process, the differentiation between colonization, infection and contamination and between prophylactic, empiric and therapeutic uses of antimicrobials);
c. implement surveillance and epidemiologic investigations at the local level by conducting risk assessments on the population served and on the services provided.
Create a notification system based on the designated surveillance plan for the local base / wing and clinic, and establish mechanisms for identifying individuals with communicable diseases to provide follow-up and / or transmission based precautions;
d. collect and compile surveillance data by using a systematic approach to record surveillance data and calculate the incidence or prevalence of infections and specific infection rates / ratios.
e. participate in outbreak investigations with local teams to formulate hypothesis on source and mode of transmission, implement and evaluate control measures and prepare reports;
f. Prevent and control transmission of infectious agents at the local level in base / wing facilities and the clinic by implementing available IPAC policies and procedures, collaborating with relevant groups and agencies in planning community / facility responses to biologic threats and disasters, and identifying and implementing IPAC strategies related to infection risks associated with therapeutic and diagnostic procedures and devices;
g. organize and provide annual IPAC education for clinic staff to promote compliance with unit IPAC policies and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
The education topics include :
i. Use of routine practices, chain of infection transmission, and additional precautions;
ii. Procedures for the proper donning and removal of personal protective equipment (PPE);
iii. Hand Hygiene; and
iv. Biomedical waste management.
h. conduct annual clinic hand hygiene audit and housekeeping audit IAW the current company policy, Infection Prevention and Control in clinic, provided by Task Manager;
i. develop, implement and review, when warranted, clinic IPAC Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) IAW the current policy, Infection Prevention and Control in clinic, provided by Task Manager, a member of the healthcare team;
j. identify and resolve any local IPAC issues such as risk of infectious disease outbreaks through early identification, investigation, contact tracing, preventive measures, and activities to promote safe behaviours;
k. develop and distribute local IPAC and Community Health educational programs for patients and staff such as information sessions, posters, pamphlets, and educational signage;
l. make IPAC clinical and technical recommendations on the required environmental cleaning requirements to the Task Manager;
m. ensure local alignment with changes or improvements in the national IPAC program or communicate local IPAC issues by participating as a team member in activities such as clinic IPAC workshops, education sessions, teleconferences, and other communications;
n. generate health surveillance data and trends by identifying infections and infectious agents most common to the local region / level, conduct investigations of suspected infections or disease outbreaks within base / wing facilities or the clinic, track infection rates and surgical site infection rates where applicable, and analyze the data;
o. organize N95 mask fit-testing sessions with the Preventative Medicine Technician (P Med Tech) for local staff. Generate an annual status report to the Task Manager;
p. monitor, provide guidance and support clinic central sterilization processing staff on IPAC practices and maintain related records;
q. complete the clinic accreditation IPAC self-assessment survey as per direction from Task Manager;
r. provide IPAC guidance and input on the clinic and local base / wing pandemic planning, and report outbreaks to the Task Manager when warranted;
s. provide IPAC guidance and input to mitigation and remediation steps for any construction and / or renovations to the Task manager;
t. collaborate with occupational health and safety and environmental P Med Tech staff in the development of strategies that address the risk of disease transmission to health care providers and ancillary staff, such as post-exposure protocols; and
u. perform other associated tasks relevant to this occupational group.
EDUCATION / QUALIFICATIONS
All IPAC Nurses must, as a minimum, have :
a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing (Bachelor of Nursing, Bachelor of Science in Nursing or Bachelor of Nursing Science) from a recognized university;
a current license (active and unrestricted status) to practice as a Registered Nurse from a Canadian provincial or territorial regulatory authority (professional college or association) in the province of practice;
a Certificate of Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Provider or equivalent such as Cardio-pulmonary Resuscitation / Automated External Defibrillator (CPR / AED) Level C.
Annual recertification is required.
The IPAC Nurse shall possess, as a minimum, five (5) years’ experience in a clinical health setting, including 5,250 hours (3 full time equivalent years) in IPAC nursing or five years’ experience in a clinical health care setting, including a minimum of 80 hours of IPAC Canada-endorsed / APIC-endorsed infection prevention & control courses and 3,500 hours (2 full time years equivalent) in IPAC nursing :
a. applying knowledge of antimicrobials, identification of infectious disease processes, surveillance and epidemiologic investigation, prevention and controlling the transmission of infectious agents;
b. applying the principles of IPAC, public health measures, occupational / employee health, environmental care / cleaning, sterilization, disinfection and asepsis, and / or communicable diseases management;
c. delivering patient education and / or training in Principles of adult education is an asset;
d. working in Public or Community Health - Communicable Disease Control Program, Primary Care, or Occupational Health environment.
Certification in Infection Control (CIC) or certification in Community Health Nursing or Public Health Nursing is an asset.