Nurses provided with vital infection prevention training in Murrumbidgee hospitals

1 JUNE 2023

Nurses provided with vital infection prevention training in Murrumbidgee hospitals

Charles Sturt and Three Rivers partnered with MLHD to deliver an infection prevention workshop, with a focus on microbiology, to nurses working in rural hospitals.

  • Charles Sturt and Three Rivers partner with MLHD to deliver infection prevention workshop to regional nurses

Charles Sturt University has partnered with the Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) to deliver crucial infection prevention training to nurses across the region.

The ‘Microbiology in a nutshell’ workshop will be delivered on Thursday 1 June at Wagga Wagga Base Hospital for up to 20 nurses who work in rural infection prevention roles in hospitals across the MLHD.

The workshop is being organised by Associate Professor in Immunology Thiru Vanniasinkam, lecturers from Charles Sturt’s Three Rivers Department of Rural Health Ms Kathryn Castelletto and Dr Elyce Green and MLHD Infection Prevention Control District Clinical Nurse Consultant Ms Mary-Clare Smith.

Following on from the success of a similar workshop which was run in 2019, organisers have updated the 2023 workshop with relevant findings and practices from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We want to create a more confident nursing staff, who are breaking down barriers and open to going and asking questions,” Professor Vanniasinkam said.

“They will get a sense of how they will be managing a patient because it is about providing a better experience for patients.”

The workshop is relevant for infection prevention leads, of which there is one stationed in all MLHD hospitals. The information is relevant to any infectious disease patient who presents to hospital.

Ms Castelletto said “while COVID-19 is not as rampant as it was at the height of the pandemic, it is still very present in the hospital system and infection prevention has become a huge issue over the past few years.”

“We have collaborated with other healthcare providers that would be involved with infection control cases … to bring theory and practice together.”

Professor Vanniasinkam said the workshop will build on the level of microbiology nurses learned at university to be more relevant in a hospital setting where stringent infection prevention is needed.

Murrumbidgee Local Health District Infection Prevention Control District Clinical Nurse Consultant Ms Mary-Clare Smith said that during the height of the COVD-19 pandemic the important role that Infection Prevention Control (IPC) Leads play at district sites became evident.

“The aim of the workshop is to continue to capitalise on the IPC Leads’ current expert knowledge and skills of key Aspects of Microbiology in their roles through involving experts in the field whilst also achieving the goal of publishing research related to the day,” Ms Smith said.

Participants from Wagga Wagga, Holbrook, Harden, Tumut, Young, Finley, Culcairn and Leeton will attend the workshop at Wagga Wagga Base Hospital on Thursday 1 June.

Media Note:

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Nicole Barlow at Charles Sturt Media on 0429 217 026 or

Photo caption: MLHD's Ms Mary-Clare Smith, Charles Sturt's Dr Thiru Vanniasinkam and Three Rivers' Ms Kathryn Castelletto. 

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Wagga Wagga Charles Sturt University Three Rivers