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Julie Reagan
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Julie Reagan, PhD, JD, MPH, holds a PhD in Management, Policy, and Community Health from the University of Texas Health Science Center, School of Public Health in Houston, Texas. She completed a Master's of Public Health degree from the same university. Dr. Reagan is also an attorney licensed to practice law in New Mexico and Texas (inactive status). She has been practicing law since 1993. She also holds degrees in health education and dental hygiene.


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Preventing and Managing Norovirus in Healthcare Settings

An online continuing education course for nurses, medical health care professionals, and other interested individuals.

Norovirus is the predominant cause of acute gastroenteritis, causing both sporadic cases and outbreaks.  It is estimated to be the causative agent for over 23 million gastroenteritis cases occurring every year in the U.S.  Norovirus gastroenteritis infections commonly occur in healthcare settings.  In fact, healthcare institutions, such as hospitals and nursing homes, are the most frequently reported settings for norovirus outbreaks in the United States and other industrialized countries.  Due to the high rates of infection, as well as the burden placed on healthcare institutions in caring for ill patients, infection prevention and control of norovirus is extremely important. 

This instructional course has been designed primarily for nurses and infection prevention and control practitioners working and caring for patients in healthcare settings.  However, other care providers such as epidemiologists, healthcare administrators, environmental services, and other healthcare staff members will find the course information useful.  The course is designed to be applicable to all healthcare settings and follows the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest 2011 HICPAC Guideline for the Prevention of Norovirus. 


Upon completion of this course, the participant will be able to:

  1. Describe norovirus viral gastroenteritis and it’s impact on the U.S. healthcare system.
  2. Explain when and where norovirus gastroenteritis infections occur.
  3. List the symptoms of norovirus.
  4. Explain how noroviruses are transmitted in the healthcare setting.
  5. Describe the various methods for limiting the spread of norovirus through isolation, cohorting and contact precautions.
  6. Identify personnel management strategies for preventing norovirus transmission.
  7. Recognize the importance of proper hand hygiene techniques for the prevention of norovirus infection.
  8. Describe methods for closing wards and transferring patients during outbreak events.
  9. Describe federal mandates for food handlers in healthcare settings.
  10. Recognize diagnostic and clinical testing methods for the confirmation of norovirus outbreaks.
  11. Describe why increased environmental cleaning is necessary in norovirus outbreaks.
  12. Explain useful visitor policies during outbreak situations.
  13. Explain the importance of surveillance activities as a prevention measure. 


Chapter 1:  Introduction: Norovirus in Healthcare Settings 

  • Viral Gastroenteritis Description
  • Norovirus gastroenteritis infections are common in healthcare settings
  • Burden to U.S. Healthcare System
  • Importance of Infection Control Measures
Chapter 2: About Norovirus: The Basics
  • Description
  • When and Where Norovirus Gastroenteritis Infections Occur
  • Symptoms
  • Transmission
  • Treatment
  • Special Patient Groups
Chapter 3:  Applicable Guidelines 
  • CDC 2011 Norovirus Guideline
  • 2012 Toolkit
  • State Resources
Chapter 4:  Limiting the Spread of Norovirus 
  • Preventing Exposure to Diarrhea and Vomitus
  • Isolation: Single Rooms or Cohort Groups
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Duration Times for Isolation and Contact Precautions
  • Limiting Patient Movement Within the Facility
Chapter 5:  Staff Management 
  • Staff Risk of Infection
  • Ill Staff Exclusion From Work
  • Recovering Staff Suitable for Caring for Symptomatic Patients
  • Non-essential Staff, Students, and Volunteers
Chapter 6:  The Importance of Hand Hygiene
  • Promotion of Proper Hand Hygiene Practices
  • Use of Soap and Running Water
  • Hand Sanitizers
  • Other Hand Hygiene Indications
Chapter 7: Closures and Transfers
  • Closures
  • Transfers
  • Discharges to Home Settings
Chapter 8: Food Handlers in Healthcare 
  • Food and Water as Source of Norovirus Transmission
  • Food Handler Hand Hygiene
  • Exclusion of Food Handlers Experiencing Gastrointestinal Symptoms
  • Shared or Communal Foods
Chapter 9:  Diagnostic Testing for Norovirus 
  • Laboratory Diagnostic Protocols
  • Specimens Used for Testing
  • Kaplan's Clinical and Epidemiological Criteria
Chapter 10: Environmental Cleaning 
  • Need for Increased Cleaning During Norovirus Outbreaks
  • Cleaning Sequence
  • Disposable and Non-disposable Items
  • Linens, Fabrics, Upholstered Items, Rugs
  • Products for Cleaning and Disinfection
Chapter 11: Visitor Policies
  • Visitor Restrictions
  • Screening
Chapter 12: Surveillance, Communication, Training, and Regulatory Notification 
  • Surveillance to Evaluate Fluctuations in Norovirus Incidence
  • Internal Facility Communication
  • Training
  • Regulatory Notification

Course Snapshot

Cost: $ 20.00
Contact Hours: 2


After successful completion the licensed nurse: RN, LPN/LVN will receive 2.0 contact hours. Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider # CEP 15467 and by the Florida Board of Nursing and the Florida Council of Dietetics and Nutrition, CE Broker Tracking # is 20-354150.

This document must be retained by the licensee for a period of four years after the course concludes.

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