1. Infection preventionists (IPs) faced multiple challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, including rapidly changing and conflicting guidance, a lack of infection prevention recommendations for nonacute care settings, insufficient personal protective equipment, healthcare personnel complacency with personal protective equipment and infection prevention protocols, and increases in healthcare associated infections and workload.
2. IPs reported issues related to PPE access, such as a lack of PPE and supply theft issues. Disinfectant product and hand sanitizer challenges were also common.
3. IPs discussed the challenge of managing healthcare personnel's pandemic fatigue, especially related to wearing PPE. The overall sense of pandemic fatigue has led to staff complacency with PPE and other public health safeguards, both at work and in the community.
The article "Infection preventionists’ experiences during the first nine months of the COVID-19 pandemic: Findings from focus groups conducted with Association of Professionals in Infection Control & Epidemiology (APIC) members" provides valuable insights into the challenges faced by infection preventionists (IPs) during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study is based on seven focus groups conducted with APIC members, representing all geographical areas and work settings. The major themes identified through content analysis include rapidly changing and conflicting guidance, a lack of infection prevention recommendations for nonacute care settings, insufficient personal protective equipment, healthcare personnel complacency with personal protective equipment and infection prevention protocols, and increases in healthcare-associated infections and workload.
One potential bias in this study is that it only includes APIC members who may have more experience or knowledge about infection control than non-members. Additionally, the study only focuses on IPs' experiences and does not consider other healthcare workers' perspectives. The article also lacks evidence to support some claims made by participants, such as the increase in healthcare-associated infections due to pandemic-related challenges.
The article highlights important gaps in pandemic response that need to be addressed to minimize healthcare-associated infections and occupational illness. However, it does not explore potential solutions or counterarguments to these issues. The educational topics identified by participating IPs should be developed into new educational programs and resources; however, the article does not provide any information on how this can be achieved.
Overall, while the article provides valuable insights into IPs' experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, it could benefit from a more balanced approach that considers different perspectives and explores potential solutions to address the identified gaps in pandemic response.