Leadership and Professional Development
Infection Preventionist (IP) turnover is a significant barrier in developing effective infection prevention and control (IPC) programs in the long-term care facilities (LTCF). We studied the factors that contributed to or prevented IP turnover in LTCF.
An 11 question online survey was developed and emailed to 222 directors of nursing (DON) of LTCF with directions to forward it to the facility IP for completion. Survey collected information on turnover of IP, DON and associate DON (ADON) in the past 24 months. Additional questions assessed perceptions of IPs regarding impact of turnover and factors associated with it.
A total of 64 IPs (28.8%) completed the survey. All reported performing at least one additional responsibility in addition to their IP role (range 1 -4). In the past 24 months, 54.7% LTCF had at least one turnover at IP, 54.7% at DON and 29.7% at ADON positions. Majority of IPs (54.3%) from the LTCF that had turnover at DON position (n=35) reported that turnover in nursing leadership affected their ability to perform their IPC program responsibilities. Many IPs (45.7%) from LTCF that experienced IP turnover (n=35) reported that it impeded full implementation of IPC program at their facility. Workload was the most frequently selected contributing factor to the turnover (37.1%), followed by wages and benefits (28.6%), nursing leadership turnover (25.7%), dissatisfaction with the job (25.7%), and understaffing (25.7%). The most common reasons preventing IP turnover reported by IPs from LTCF without any IP turnover (n=29) included nursing leadership stability (27.6%), opportunity for professional development (20.7%), and overall satisfaction with the job (17.2%).
This study identified several modifiable factors that influence IP turnover in LTCF. Advocacy at the national level is required to raise awareness of the challenges faced by IPs in this setting in order to decrease their turnover rate.