Clostridium Difficile Colitis Prevention and Management

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

Clostridium difficile is an inimitable organism that normally lives in the gut. When an antibiotic is taken to treat an infection, helpful or normal bacteria are destroyed, causing an overgrowth of the C. difficile bacteria. Clostridium difficile localizes to the large bowel, where it manifests as diarrhea and colitis. The symptoms of Clostridium difficile colitis and diarrhea can be mild or life-threatening.

Clostridium difficile is the leading cause of infectious diarrhea in hospitals and has become, along with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, one of the most common causes of health care-associated infections.The incidence and severity of C. difficile infection (CDI) have increased dramatically since 2000, and CDI is estimated to cause as many as 20,000 deaths and to cost as much as $3.2 billion per year in US acute care facilities alone. CDI outbreaks have become more common, and infection control-based CDI prevention efforts appear to be less effective than in the past.

How does your facility prevent patients from getting a CDI during their stay? In this CNE course you will learn the characteristics and transmission of CDI, best practices for monitoring these infections, and the recommended practices for Clostridium difficile prevention and control.

Questions? Check out our FAQs page and How Online IV Certification Works!


Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Discuss 2 features of the microorganism Clostridium difficile which make transmission difficult to control in the healthcare setting. 
  2. List the elements of a program to recognize and prevent CDI and transmission in the healthcare setting.
  3. Discuss the importance of hand hygiene and environmental cleaning in prevention of transmission of Clostridium difficile.
  4. Describe resources for controlling CDI in the healthcare setting.


Chapter 1: The Organism

  • Case study
  • Media/Public Attention
  • Features
  • Pathogenesis
  • Transmission

Chapter 2: The Disease

  • Symptoms
  • Risk Factors
  • Epidemiology
  • Impact
  • Colonization vs. Infection
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment Options

Chapter 3: Prevention and Control

  • Core Strategies
  • Outbreak Management (Supplemental Strategies)

Chapter 4: Surveillance

  • Definitions for Surveillance
  • Calculating Rates for Reporting
  • Process Measures
  • Outcome Measures
  • Research Needs

Chapter 5: Summary

Chapter 6: Resources

  • California Bill 241
  • Implicit Bias in Healthcare
  • What is Implicit Bias?
  • Implications of Implicit Bias in Healthcare
  • How to Reduce Implicit Bias

Price: $45.00

Contact Hours: 4.5

Course Author

Leah Frederick

Leah owns the consulting firm Infection Prevention Consultants, LLC, providing infection prevention mentorship and program development services to for-profit and not-for-profit health care providers nationwide.

Read Full Bio

Course Accreditation

See our Accreditation Statements page to view our accreditation information.

Ready to begin?

Go to the student dashboard.

Not sure what courses you need?

Browse our course catalog!