Using Flickr to Teach Infection control



Clinical Manifestations of HIV Infection

Flickr has the potential to make explanation and understanding of health care concepts an interactive exercise. Some of the hardest concepts for students to actually understand are the types of precautions that are used to prevent the spread of infection. Posters and readings provide one source of information, but until the student must actually apply the types of precautions, they really don’t understand how these ideas will affect them and their patients.

Enter Flickr photostreams. My idea is to have students create their own flickr accounts and develop a photostream which shows how different types of precautions are used and what types of infections they are useful for. Students can create a Flickr account, learn about the types of Creative Commons licenses, and decide whether to use existing photos or take new ones and develop photostreams explaining the concepts.

We can post the links to the photostreams on the classroom blog and students can answer questions about the types of precautions as they view the photostreams.

As the photo above illustrates, these are the clinical manifestations of HIV. What precautions would you take to avoid spreading infection to yourself, your clients, and your loved ones?

Wellcome Images. (2012, November 3) Clinical Manifestations of HIV Infection. Wellcome Images’s photostream. Retrieved April 1, 2014, from


4 thoughts on “Using Flickr to Teach Infection control

  1. Great concept Jami. I’ve no idea how many pictures are out there with CC permissions, but that shouldn’t be too hard to find out.

    One thing of concern. With HIPA rules being what they are, students would have to be very careful about which photos they used, even if they took the pictures themselves. Obviously this is mostly a concern when taking pics of people. But perhaps if faces weren’t used, then a release may cover it.

    We have these concerns when posting student pictures on websites, but a simple parental release is all we need. Of course, these days everyone puts everything online, so it seems much less of a concern than it did 15 years ago!

    I like your photostream idea. It seems like the students could motivate and inspire each other by using them. And isn’t that just what we want? -Jim

  2. Mindy Smith says:

    I like your idea for the use of Photostream. It’s definitely a way to get your students involved and excited about learning. Kudos!
    Mindy 🙂

  3. Jim,
    You just gave me another idea about using a photostream! Students can use each other as patients (with the Parental Permission form signed, of course) and take photos of what is permitted and not permitted to be released via HIPAA or describe the decision making process for permissible releases in a photo shoot. I think I’ll just sit back and watch the students work and learn! 🙂

    Mindy – and that’s what it’s all about!



  4. I love the idea of photos for your students. I think the photos really make it real for the students. The importance of taking precautions and the outcome if precautions are not taken are vividly obvious thanks to the pictures. It would scare me into following all safety measures!

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