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Infection Control In Schools

FREE PowerPoint Download and YouTube How-To-Present Video

“If it’s wet and not yours, don’t touch it!” – Nurse Kevin

We all love free stuff!

Well, it depends on what free stuff we’re talking about. I’m sure there’s been a bit of free COVID passed out over the past few months. And, very soon, folks will be passing out free samples of influenza. Even folks who have politely declined the free offers of pertussis and measles (by means of a vaccination) have somehow found themselves the proud owner of a brand new case of pertussis and measles. Yes, I’m being very facetious. And I kinda see some of you awesome school nurses nodding your heads in agreement (at my facetiousness).

But, Nurse Kevin is giving away an AWESOME Infection Control PowerPoint presentation (with a bit of a COVID-19 flavor) that you can modify to teach your teachers, other faculty members, parents and even the children. Read on…

This video shows how I present this PowerPoint. You can modify it to meet your school’s policies and procedures. Video Index is on the YouTube site:

I think, now that many of the school districts across America are bringing the children back into the buildings, it may be a nice thing to review infection control measures with your staff. It’s not that your staff doesn’t get it; teachers are a pretty smart bunch of folks. I thought I wanted to be a teacher once…read my bio for more information on that. Regardless of IQ, folks get complacent in their day-to-day. And, truth be known, infection control measures have a lot to do with a person’s perspective of what is clean and what is dirty. 

For me, after I wash my hands, both of my hands “seem” clean to me. However, in some parts of the world (wonderful places like India and some countries in the Middle East) the left hand is considered unclean; in these areas, many use their left hand for “ablutions.” If you are visiting some places in the world, folks may not like it if you touch them with your left hand. It’s “seems” dirty to certain cultures.

America is a kaleidoscope of cultures, so I will ask this open-ended question: If someone feels that a part of their body is dirtier than another part, would a culture prove them right or wrong (culture” meaning a sample taken and a petri dish inoculated to assess growth of pathogens and not “culture” meaning a group of people with shared beliefs)? What I mean is this: if I am from Istanbul and I feel my left hand is unclean (physically and spiritually) and had a hospital laboratory sample my hands bilaterally, would my left hand result in more growth on the petri dish than the sample from my right hand? (No disrespect to anyone is meant…I am from Louisiana…we ate squirrels growing up…folks up here in Idaho think that’s pretty gross to say the least (PS: I don’t anymore…okay…T.M.I.)).

I’ll simply say this: infection control measures DO have a lot to do with a person’s perspective of what is clean and what is dirty? What is dirty to one person may be clean to another; what is clean to one person may be dirty to another. And there are those things that are considered clean by all and dirty by all. It’s the “grey” areas that offer the biggest possibility of the spread of pathogens. 

Pathogens aren’t emotional “creatures.” Pathogens don’t care about our paradigms, emotional responses to our environment or our political views. Pathogens only do what they do where they are able to do it. And, what do you know; one of your bodily orifices (God-made or otherwise) are a perfect place for pathogens to “do it.” 

But (and this is a big but), sometimes perspective of what’s clean and what’s dirty can influence behavior. Let me give you a few examples.

Which is dirtier: the kitchen sink or the toilet?

Would you kiss your husband? Would you chew his chewed bubble gum?

Do germs actually count to three before jumping on that dropped cookie?

Would you put your purse on the bathroom stall floor?

Do you wear shoes in your home?

Would you borrow a friend’s mask from their face just to run into the store real quick?

Let Me Beat That Horse a Bit More

The other day we’re out and about and enjoying beverages while one of our favorite bands is on stage. Some of the band members bring their children to the shows (It gets them out of the house not to mention daycare and babysitting is expensive). One of the children, the cutest of the bunch, was walking around the parking lot picking up rocks and putting them in her mouth. We could say that she was too young to understand what dirty things are as most children are. It’s not because they’re not very smart; a two-year-old is as smart as a two-year-old can be (ever heard, “she’s a smart two-year-old?”). It’s because they haven’t developed the perspective of what is clean and what is dirty. So, being that she saw the rocks as clean, did that make them clean? No way Jose’!! A lot of adults have the same mentality. 

The other day at the coffee shop, a customer walks in with his mask on as per the coffee shop’s policy. He makes an order, pays, takes his cup of Joe to the table, sits, pulls his mask below his chin, pulls the lid off the cup, and enjoys that cup of pure calm…mmmmm…I’m gonna get a cup right now. But… You awesome nurses see where I am going with this, right? The mask, in theory, is the new reservoir of the agent (where the germs are caught). If his mask has truly protected him from another’s free sample of COVID-19 and the SARS-CoV-2 virus is on the outside of his mask. If his bare hand had touched the cup he has put his mouth on, has he possibly been exposed to SARS-CoV-2? My guess: His perspective is that his cup is CLEAN. Was his cup clean? Yes? No? Was his mask clean? Because even if he could see the bacteria, viruses, and fungi (all the other non-SARS-CoV-2 cooties) on his cup from his hand he likely would have found the nearest biohazard bag and tossed it. I am not trying to promote a lifestyle of germaphobia; I think society/politicians/media has done a great job of that already. I am promoting a lifestyle of “Germ Awareness.” 

If someone is aware of what is “dirty” and what is “clean”…ACTUALLY dirty and clean…then maybe we could halt COVID-19 AND other bugs like influenza, cold, herpes simplex and the like.

After all if you were given a meal that you had to eat with your bare hands, and had these two choices: 

  1. Eat it after touching your privates?
  2. Eat it after touching a stranger’s privates?

Yep. That choice seems pretty easy for me to make. I wouldn’t care if it was the end of the day and the stranger just walked out of the shower, I know what choice I would pick. Truthbeknown, once we leave the bathroom after washing our hands, the lifespan of clean hands is pretty short. Soon, you will touch something that someone else touched or you had been touching before you washed your hands (take that mouse / keyboard or phone you are using to view this article).. And, that someone else probably didn’t wash their hands or maybe didn’t wash their hand as well as you may have preferred they’d washed their hands after toileting and before they touched the surface your hand is now touching. Now, try to go between hand washings without touching your face.

And their privates ain’t all they are touching. Watch folks pull down their masks, pull a tissue from their pockets, blow their nose, wipe left-to-right a couple of times, put the tissue away (usually back into their pocket), pull the mask back up and proceed to touching this-and-that. We scream “wash your hands after going to the bathroom (urinating).” But, are we sure that urine is not cleaner than nasal mucus?? Urine is generally clean and, for the most part, pathogen-free. Boogers…not so much. It’s possible that the publicly blown nose may render more microbe spread than the privately emptied bladder (though they are now saying that urine is not sterile). 

And You’re a Nurse

I’ve been a Registered Nurse since 1998…and I’ve witnessed some fairly complacent nurses…especially in long-term care facilities where the nurse and the patient may have known each other for months if not years. When a patient on a hall gets C-Diff…take bets on how long it will take for the first employee to call in with “tummy troubles.” You awesome school nurses know how C-Diff spreads…need I say more?

I see nurses even now…who preach, “Mask! Mask! Mask!” They wear their masks diligently out and about only to pull it down under their chins when they see another nurse / friend on their day-to-day’s goings on and visit…wait for it…for more than 15-minutes! And how do they get that mask under their chin? They use the front material like a handle with their bare hands! 

We nurses are just folks who, like the general population and other medical professionals, get complacent and are biased by what “seems” dirty to us. “Studies have shown that compliance with precautions among nurses in order to avoid exposure to microorganisms is low. More specifically, compliance was found inadequate concerning hand hygiene guidelines.”

We preach from every medical pulpit and scream it from every hospital building top to “wash your hands!” But, are we asking folks to wash their hands like we want them to wear their masks…to keep from making us sick? (Asking for a friend…tongue-in-cheek)

Watch it Nurse Kevin. You’re walking a fine line there…

Okay. We’ve made the point about the perspective of cleanliness being influenced by a person’s paradigm. We already know that thinking something is clean is not necessarily the same thing as actually being clean (no disrespect meant to any social / religious groups). And we know that the chain of infection can be broken by practicing cleanliness and attention to detail regardless of what we think is dirty or clean.

Dang it Jim! I’m a Teacher, not a Nurse

But, teachers are parents. And if they are not parents, they have seen 100s of children (even before receiving their degree). Teachers know illness when they see it. But, if nurses get complacent with their day-to-day in hospitals and long-term care facilities…is it possible teachers get complacent with their day-to-day in the classroom. Heck, some of teachers see your child more between mid August and the end of May than you do. You know what they say about familiarity? I say it breeds more than contempt; I say it breeds complacency. 

So, I Made a PowerPoint

So what I’ve decided to do is create a PowerPoint presentation that can be presented to a group of teachers and other faculty members. This presentation can be modified to present to school children as well. The PowerPoint’s topics include:

  1. Introduction
  2. Chain of Infection
  3. What is a Germ
  4. How to Break the Chain of Infection
  5. Where do Masks Fit into the Chain of Infection
  6. Natural History of Disease Timeline
  7. COVID-19: Quarantine vs Isolation
  8. Close Contact
  9. Positive / Suspected COVID-19 Infection Staff / Students
  10. Symptoms of COVID-19
  11. What to do if…
  12. Wash Your Hands (No Infection Control Presentation would be complete without a handwashing section).
  13. Social Distancing…Rather Physical Distancing
  14. Masks
  15. CDC Precautions Explained (Timeline)
  16. Donning and Doffing PPE
  17. When to GO SEE THE NURSE
  18. When to WAIT to GO SEE THE NURSE

It’s about 280 slides and full of animations. I don’t like slides full of text and try to avoid the massive bullet points. Though that’s not 100% possible; it’s a guide for me when making presentations. 


Here Is The Scoop

You are free to download this PowerPoint and share it with your staff and others whom you feel need a bit of a check on their understanding of infection control measures. And, if you like it and are thinking to yourself, “WOW! This is great! I would have paid for this presentation.” Then take a moment and visit (will redirect you to the official web site for the GREAT CYCLE CHALLENGE ( I am raising money in cooperation with The Children’s Cancer Research Fund to help fight childhood cancer. If you’d pay $5, $10, $25 or more on this presentation, then make a contribution to the Children’s Cancer Research Fund and support Nurse Kevin on his challenge. 

Presenting the PowerPoint without instructions may be a bit tricky. So, I’ve created a video of myself presenting the presentation. As a matter of fact, this video can be shared with others so they can watch it and learn from anywhere…even if they are in quarantine or isolation (you know the difference now!). 

So, I buy all my artwork. I don’t try to “borrow” images from the Internet. Artists are hard-working folks who should be rewarded for their talents (I even sell photography on stock photography sites). Though I can share with you my PowerPoint presentation, I am not allowed to extend permission to using the images on this PowerPoint to being copied by you and used in other ways. And, if you’d like to share this PowerPoint, that’s FANTASTIC. But please share it though this article by sharing the link. Share this link: (LINK) and let your nurse friends download their own copies directly from here. I am sure you understand (your understanding is understood as a term of condition in downloading and using this PowerPoint presentation). 


Well. That’s it for now. I am going to start writing more articles that are not COVID-19 specific here very soon. I have been contemplating articles on polymorphic light eruption, Cerebral palsy and seizures. Let’s see where we end up. 

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Nurse Kevin
Nurse Kevin is a school nurse who takes care of school children in Southwestern Idaho. Nurse Kevin authors content for many different websites including,,,,,

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