Standard Precautions

Standard Precautions and Respiratory Hygiene

Emerging public health concerns often increase awareness of protocols for safety. Every health professional needs to know essential concepts and key actions to ensure protection from infectious agents and disease. Responsible use of standard precautions reduces the risk of transmission. Correct us of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) can reduce morbidity and mortality from dangerous infections.

Purpose and Description

The purpose of this module is to provide an overview of Standard Precaution recommendations for infection prevention and control encompassing all areas of the healthcare delivery system. They are the foundation for preventing transmission of infectious agents. This module incorporates updates based on the 2007 approved CDC isolation guidelines.


After completing this module, the learner will be able to:

  1. Describe the philosophy behind Standard Precautions.
  2. List the three elements required for transmission of infectious agents within a healthcare setting.
  3. Select the personal protective equipment required to care for patients with these precautions.

Disclosures for Learners

  • There are no conflicts of interest or relevant financial interests that have been disclosed by the planners or presenters of this activity.
  • This course was originally developed with a grant.
  • Disclaimer: This course was developed using photos and images with manufacturer-specific Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from earlier versions. The underlying principles of using PPE remains constant. Please check your organizational guidelines and manufacturer specifications to match the CDC recommendations for the most current types of PPE.


Jeanne Pfeiffer, DNP, MPH, RN, CIC
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Minnesota School of Nursing, Minneapolis, MN
Jeanne Pfeiffer serves as the overall content expert with several decades of clinical experience. She completed her career in January 2005 from Hennepin County Medical Center, a Level I trauma and public teaching hospital where she started the Infection Prevention and Control Program and had 25 years of experience as Infection Control Program Coordinator. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of North Dakota, a Master of Public Health from the University of Minnesota, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Pfeiffer served as National President for the Association for Professionals in Infection Control (APIC) in 2004 and was elected to the Board of Trustees of the International Federation of Infection Control for 2015 to 2018.

Nurses: This module is eligible to meet the Minnesota State Board of Nursing requirements. This module provides 60 minutes or 1.2 Minnesota State Board of Nursing contact hours.

Other Healthcare Professionals: It is the responsibility of each participant to determine if the program meets the criteria for re-licensure or re-certification for their discipline.

Please see the final link in each module for any questions you may have. Access this module at:
Standard Precautions & Respiratory Hygiene

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