Nursing: Prevention of Surgical Site Infection

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About the Course

Surgical site infections (SSIs) are infections that develop when microbes get into the body at the site of a surgical procedure and are the most common nosocomial infections (Anderson & Sexton, 2019). They can be superficial or deep within an organ or space (Singhal, 2019). SSIs can lead to poor health outcomes, higher healthcare costs, longer postoperative stays, higher readmission rates (Singhal, 2019), and are associated with a mortality rate of 3% (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2020). This course provides operative and acute care nurse practioners working with patients undergoing surgical procedures with knowledge of SSI risk, identification of existing SSIs, and prevention strategies that are critical to providing safe, evidence-based, and optimal patient care. The course discusses the importance of reducing SSIs and how this reduction will lead to better patient health outcomes by reducing morbidity and mortality, as well as decreasing national healthcare costs. 

Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of the course, the learner will be able to:
  • Differentiate SSI from other nosocomial infections.
  • Examine the significance and incidence of SSI in the United States.
  • Compare classifications of wounds and SSIs.
  • Explain risk factors for SSI.
  • Describe the microbiology of SSI.
  • Compare pre- and post-surgical antimicrobial interventions and medications.
  • Summarize preoperative, perioperative, and postoperative strategies to reduce the risk of SSI.
  • Select nursing interventions to increase patient engagement in reducing SSIs.
  • Apply strategies to implement SSI prevention interventions in the healthcare setting.

About the Author:
Stephani Hunt, MSN, RN, WCC, OMS, ONC

Stephani Hunt, MSN, RN, WCC, OMS, ONC received her MSN with an education focus from Framingham State University and her BSN from Northeastern University-Boston. She is wound care certified, an ostomy management specialist, and is a certified orthopedic nurse. Ms. Hunt has worked as a medical-surgical clinical nurse educator, coordinating orientation for new staff, providing ongoing staff education, and responding to real-time staff educational needs. She is currently working as the inpatient wound and ostomy specialist in Manchester, New Hampshire.

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