model used to understand the infection process is the chain of
a circle of links, each representing a component in the cycle. Each
link must be present and in sequential order for an
infection to occur. The links are: infectious agent,
reservoir, portal of exit from the reservoir, mode of transmission,
and portal of entry into a susceptible host.Understanding
the characteristics of each link provides the nurse with methods to
support vulnerable patients and to prevent the spread of infection.
An awareness of this cycle also provides the nurse with knowledge of
methods of self-protection.