Infection Prevention in Healthcare (PUBH5421)


Attendance, in person, at workshops is strongly recommended, to enable participation in discussions. However, lectures will be recorded and available online after the workshops. Students who are unable to attend some or all of workshop sessions can view them, but generally not the associated discussions, online. Assessments are online.

This unit will provide students with an understanding of the individual and societal risks of healthcare-associated infections (HAI) and the rationale for, and barriers to, their prevention and control (PC). A basic understanding of medical microbiology and communicable disease epidemiology will be assumed. The unit will cover such important concepts as: ethical and economic implications; psychological, behavioural, cultural and professional influences; the varying roles, responsibilities and perspectives of clinicians, health support staff, administrators, patients and the community; potential uses and implications of new technology (such as information and decision support systems, electronic medical records and highly discriminatory microbial strain typing, including whole genome sequencing) in HAI surveillance. The course will also address the rationales and strategies for implementation of HAI-related policies, such as hand hygiene, aseptic technique and antimicrobial stewardship, and some reasons for and consequences of failure to implement them, for individual patients, the health system and the community.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


block mode (2 x 3days)


2x2000 word essays/assignments (2x30%); 2x short answer question exams -150 word answers for each of 5 questions (2x20%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Assumed knowledge

basic knowledge of medical microbiology, antimicrobial agents and communicable disease epidemiology and clinical features

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.