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Masters stream in infection prevention and control starts.

THE INFECTION prevention and control (IPC) stream of an interdisciplinary masters for health professionals at Waiariki Bay of Plenty Polytechnic started this month. The masters of applied professional studies has been running since July last year, but the IPC stream has just started.

Head of department, bachelor of nursing, Brighid McPherson said the stream had been developed because the polytechnic had a strong interest in this specialist field and had been running IPC courses for New Zealand nurses since 1985. Before the interdisciplinary masters, the only masters in IPC was offered through Griffith University in Queensland.

There are four IPC papers in the postgraduate certificate, a further three for the postgraduate diploma and two papers at level 9 to complete the masters. McPherson said it would give a solid grounding in IPC for those working in the specialty. Most papers are compulsory because of the specialist nature of the subject, but cross-crediting of postgraduate papers could be looked at on an individual basis, she said.

Ease of international travel

"IPC is of increasing importance in the modern health-care context with the ease of international travel," McPherson said. "And the increasing number of tourists coming to New Zealand makes it more important that health professionals have the training and education needed to deal with any outbreak scenarios."

All courses are online and are supplemented by face-to-face blocks of study. The masters can also be studied full-time on campus and must be completed within five years.

McPherson said because of the specialist nature of IPC, she expected cohorts would be small. All those in the inaugural stream are nurses working in IPC in some capacity. The IPC endorsement is mainly for New Zealand students, however there are a limited number of international places for students who work with international aid agencies or for overseas health departments, she said.

Two lecturers are involved in teaching on the masters, but they would be supported by expert guest speakers. Memorandums of understanding are in place with district health boards in the region to provide some of this clinical expertise, McPherson said.

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Title Annotation:news & events
Publication:Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand
Date:Jul 1, 2016
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