Environmental services (ES) leaders and professionals seeking to strengthen their infection prevention knowledge and skills need look no further for expert training.

The Association for the Healthcare Environment (AHE) of the American Hospital Association has scheduled a series of training classes this year for its new Certificate of Mastery in Infection Prevention (CMIP).  

In a few short months, the 30-hour hybrid online and classroom instructional program has quickly established itself as a go-to source for expert instruction on infection prevention.

Sandra L. Rials, director of education at AHE, says the first live class held at the program’s launch at the AHE Exchange conference in Pittsburgh in September drew an overflow crowd. The second live class held in Austin, Texas, sold out, too.

The certification program provides ES professionals with the requisite knowledge to meet the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services requirements for a trained professional in infection prevention and control specific to the clinical environment of care.

CMIP is building off the success of the Certified Healthcare Environmental Services Technician (CHEST) training program for front-line ES professionals, Rials says.

“In presenting these programs across the country, we noted the need for more specific infection prevention content related to the clinical environment of care,” she says.

“We wanted to equip environmental services leaders with the knowledge to do their jobs more effectively, partner with infection prevention, and provide for a higher level of patient safety,” she says.

The program is geared for a range of ES professionals including health care ES directors, managers and supervisors; contract agencies; consultants; industry suppliers; trainers and educators; and ambulatory surgical center, outpatient and long-term care professionals.

The program starts with four weeks or nine hours of online training that includes self-directed exercises and assignments on microbiology, epidemiology, and standard and transmission-based precautions. Participants are able to network online with facilitators and fellow learners.

The next step is one eight-hour live classroom session with infection prevention experts who discuss patient safety, emerging pathogens and environmental services practices, principles of disinfection, antimicrobial stewardship and more.

The third part of the program includes four more weeks or nine hours of online training on topics such as emergency preparedness, infection prevention during construction, and critical thinking and decision-making methodologies. Participants finish the program and earn the Certificate of Mastery in Infection Prevention by completing a four-hour capstone project that involves finding solutions to a real-world infection prevention challenge.

AHE has scheduled four CMIP training sessions this year with the first set for March 13 through May 21 with a one-day live workshop April 12 in Baltimore.