Peer Coaches

I CAN: Improve my coworkers’ implementation of infection control practices. 

You’re performing a critical role because you’re recognized as an influencer by your peers and center’s leadership.

As an infection control shift coach, you’re educating your coworkers about infection control practices, modeling “see something, say something” throughout your shift, and sharing your insights with other coaches and the infection preventionist.

Your key responsibilities are to:

Coaching focuses on the present, not something that occurred in the past or might occur in the future — and requires you to speak up when you see something that's not right. As a coach, you're using your observations (and people skills!) to improve infection control practices.

Start by watching this 3-minute video about coaching. While "training" and "coaching" are often used interchangeably, they're not the same. Training is about acquiring skills; coaching is about performance:


  • Transferring knowledge
  • Often in a group setting
  • Frequently off the floor or off-site
  • Often used for new hires
  • Usually structured
  • Formal


  • Enhancing knowledge or skills
  • Usually one-on-one
  • Usually on-the-job
  • Often used with experienced employees
  • Usually unstructured
  • Informal and conversational

You and your coworkers have already completed infection control training. You can access resources to refresh your memory, but this program centers on using coaching to improve the day-to-day application of these practices.

This is important because the continued vigilance necessary to implement these practices every day for months on end is HARD. It's human to make mistakes, but coronavirus and other infectious diseases will take advantage.

Creating a culture of mutual accountability will strengthen your center's defenses.

It can be awkward to encourage others to implement infection control practices correctly. You don't want to come across as rude; but by speaking up, you're not only addressing an issue you've observed, but setting an example for others to do the same.

Here are some tips:

  • Be polite, friendly, and upbeat
  • Be discreet and respectful
  • Keep language short and simple
  • Recognize people have been through a lot
  • Don’t shame or embarrass
  • Don't publicly admonish
  • Avoid jargon
  • Don’t assume anything about the situation

Still feeling uncomfortable or uncertain? Find a fellow coach to role play and practice what you would say and how you'd react in difference scenarios, so you have the words ready.

During your shift, you'll be constantly observing others. Track your observations on a piece of paper or using this tool as they happen, so you'll remember to share them with the infection preventionist.

Have ideas about different or better ways to do things? Make note of those, too.

Gold standard: Communicate directly with your center's infection preventionist, for example during a huddle, over email, or in a 1:1 conversation. If there are opportunities for coaches to meet as a group, share then too: hearing from one another will give you ideas and provide an opportunity for group troubleshooting. Even if others have talked about a particular issue, share it again! That way, everyone will understand if it's an isolated issue or is common.

Consider sharing:

  • What have you observed?
  • What problems are you seeing?
  • What solutions do you propose?

Other options: Aren't able to communicate directly with the infection preventionist, for example if you work evenings or nights? Try completing hand-offs to the coach on the shift after yours, so that coach can "carry forward" your thoughts and ideas. This will not only help the incoming coach know what to look for, but (if you are on the evening or night shifts) will carry forward your observations to the daily huddles with the infection preventionist.


Contact us with questions or sign up for program updates