Tuberculosis education program for long term care homes / by Marcia L. Matthews.
Matthews, Marcia L.
SubjectLong term care facilities Risk Management Ontario Hamilton
Tuberculosis in old age Prevention
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Outbreaks of infectious diseases, such as SARS have highlighted the importance of infection prevention and control practices. Diseases such as tuberculosis (TB) continue to persist and pose a threat if not understood and managed appropriately. Certain high risk groups exist for TB infection and disease, and the elderly are included in this group. The elderly living in long-term care homes (LTCH) are a vulnerable population and as such, these health care facilities need to be aware of and to develop plans to respond to TB within their institutions. In Hamilton, approximately 3 to 4 cases of active TB are found each year in staff or residents of LTHC’s. Based on experience working with these facilities, a knowledge gap was noted related to TB infection prevention and control practices. Hamilton Public Health Services TB Control Program conducted a learning needs assessment to help understand the gaps in knowledge for staff working in LTCHs. In addition, we were able to understand their preferred method of learning. The findings illustrated that healthcare staff working in long term care homes had a knowledge deficit related to TB. It was determined that TB education sessions should be provided when hired and at subsequent intervals to reinforce learning. Based on this information and as suggested by the literature, a TB education program (TBEP) was developed. The goal of the TBEP is to develop and implement a comprehensive TB education program (TBEP) for LTCH healthcare staff in Hamilton by the end of 2010 to enhance TB infection prevention and control measures. Training sessions will be offered to all LTCHs in Hamilton by TB-expert public health nurse. An evaluation component has been included as an essential element to facilitate enhancements to the TBEP.