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Course overview
What is expected of you
Target audience
Online netiquette

This online course aims to provide training that will increase participants’ knowledge of good antimicrobial stewardship practices. The course will focus on inpatient use of antibiotics.

The specific objective of the course is to help you develop competencies relevant to antibiotic prescribing and the management of antimicrobial resistance in the inpatient neonatal and paediatric setting. The competencies are loosely based on the UK Department of Health’s Antimicrobial prescribing and stewardship competencies (www.gov.uk/government/publications/antimicrobial-prescribing-and-stewardship-competencies)(Department of Health and Public Health England, 2013) and include:

  • Antibiotic modes of action and uses
  • Antibiotic resistance mechanisms
  • Prescribing antibiotics for infections caused by susceptible and resistant organisms
  • Antimicrobial stewardship
  • Monitoring and surveillance

Course structure
The course is divided into six modules as follows:

  • Module 1: Key antibiotics/antibiotic groups: What do they do?
  • Module 2: History of antibiotic development and PK/PD basics
  • Module 3: Clinical microbiology: What you need to know to become a better antibiotic prescriber
  • Module 4: MRSA, PRSP, ESBL E. coli & co.: The key players in antimicrobial resistance
  • Module 5: Antimicrobial stewardship: Measures to help providers prescribe antibiotics better
  • Module 6: Antimicrobial resistance goes from local to global 

The authors:
Module 1: David Pace, Giangiacomo Nicolini, Stefania Vergnano
Module 2: Irja Lutsar, Charlotte Barker, Jodie Lestner, Jana Lass
Module 3: Jim Gray, Laura Folgori, Simon Drysdale
Module 4: Emmanuel Roilides, Stefan Weichert, Elias Iosifidis
Module 5: Mike Sharland, Ana Brett, Sanjay Patel, Katja Doerholt
​Module 6: Theo Zaoutis, Julia Bielicki, Rebecca Lundin

Course director:
Simon Drysdale

We would like to thank Natalie Prevatt for reviewing and providing feedback on the course content.

Copyright on your course
In an online course, you may need to look at text, images or other materials. We have designed the course so that the materials we direct you to are available on an external website or reproduced in the online course material. Permission has been granted for us to reproduce all images and other material included in the course materials.

Copyright statement
More generally you may find it useful to remind yourself of the copyright statement below, which applies to the course as a whole.

Course content
All rights, including copyright, in the content of these Web pages are owned or controlled for these purposes by the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID).

In accessing these Web pages, you agree that you may only download the content for your own personal non-commercial use.

You are not permitted to copy, broadcast, download, store (in any medium), transmit, show or play in public, adapt or change in any way the content of these Web pages for any other purpose whatsoever without the prior written permission of ESPID.

For rights clearance, please contact the ESPID Administrative Office.

User contributions
The copyright for all original user contributions within this course (including but not limited to forum posts) remains with the contributor.

You are not permitted to copy, broadcast, download, store (in any medium), transmit, show or play in public, adapt or change in any way, or for any purpose whatsoever, the contributions of others, without having first obtained prior written permission from the individuals concerned.

In order to get maximum benefit from the course, you should plan to spend about three hours on it each week.

You will find that some of your time is spent reading and thinking, and the rest of your time will be spent doing a mixture of individual study, using the pre- and post-tests and, where you find it helpful, discussing your thoughts with fellow participants and your online tutor on the discussion forums. In undertaking this course, you are committing yourself to:

  • reading the online course materials
  • contributing to the online community of the course by posting messages to the discussion forums
  • adhering to the online netiquette guidelines outlined later in this section and the terms and conditions you agreed to when you registered for the course.

What you can expect from your tutors

As you work through each module there will be an associated forum where you can post messages for the tutor of that module. If you do so you can expect them to reply to you within the next week, although in most cases it will be sooner.

The course targets physicians in general or those undertaking specialist paediatric training leading to a hospital or public health career, and who are likely to be confronted by situations that require knowledge of antibiotic use, or the management of antimicrobial resistance, in neonatal or paediatric patients at the individual or population level. The course is also appropriate for paediatric infectious diseases trainees as an introduction to the topics of antibiotic treatment and antibiotic resistance. It may also be useful for physicians planning to join an antimicrobial stewardship team or carry out antimicrobial stewardship activities for neonatal and paediatric hospital care.

The practices of courtesy and respect that apply to working with any group also apply online; however, as we cannot see each other when working online, these practices may require even more attention. Although many of you will be aware of how to communicate effectively online at work and elsewhere, here is a summary of the netiquette guidelines as a reminder:

1. Participate
In the online environment, it’s not enough just to turn up. If you don’t join in no one will know that you are there!

2. Share questions and tips
Questions you post to the discussion forums will help others, and taking part in discussions will help you to learn. It is often the case that where a student encounters a problem, it is the experience of the other students that is most valuable.

Although the students on this course will share a common interest in studying the subject, they will come from around the world and bring a range of different personal experiences and also perspectives from different cultures, so, within a group, there will be a great deal of relevant and complementary experience. This means that all members will have something to contribute and a lot to learn from each other.

3. Think before you click
Before you post your comments, check through what you have written. It’s always helpful to check if you have written what you mean and to think how the people reading your words will react.

4. Remember that we can’t see the grin on your face
Help us ‘see’ you by explaining your ideas fully. You could also use an emoticon to let the reader know that your comment is meant to be ironic or funny.

5. Remember there is a person who will be reading your message
Because visual clues are often lacking in online communication, electronic messages can easily seem harsher than they are intended to be. If you disagree with what someone has said, please bear this in mind as you express that disagreement.

Abusive messages to other students are not acceptable and any such postings will be removed from the discussion forums. If you have been offended by someone please do not respond on the discussion forum, as this makes things unpleasant for the whole group. You can take the matter to your online tutor, who will help you to resolve it.

6. Keep your messages short and to the point
When composing your messages, aim to express your thoughts concisely. Lengthy postings do not hold people’s attention and are less likely to get a response.

7. Use paragraphs to break up your text
Even relatively short messages can be difficult to read online unless they are broken up.

8. Any derogatory or inappropriate comments are unacceptable
Any offensive postings will be removed from the discussion forums without notice and any serious or persistent breaches of the netiquette guidelines outlined here may result in the discontinuation of the concerned student’s study and access to the course.

Module 1. Key antibiotics
Module 2. History of antibiotic development and PK/PD basics
Module 3. Clinical microbiology: What you need to know to become a better antibiotic prescriber
Module 4. MRSA, PRSP, ESBL E. coli & co.: The key players in antimicrobial resistance
Module 5. Antimicrobial stewardship: Measures to help providers prescribe antibiotics better
Module 6. Antimicrobial resistance
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