July 2014 E-newsletter
CBIC: The Certification Corner
Volume 7; Issue 2
July 2014

CBIC President’s Message

It is hard to believe it is already July! I hope everyone is enjoying summer and with it, perhaps some vacation time or at least a slightly slower pace of work.

The Board has had a busy year so far. We have again been honored to attend both the IPAC-Canada meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia in May, and the APIC Annual Conference in Anaheim, California in June. Based on the number of visitors to our booth, we are encouraged that certification continues to be a goal for many individuals and organizations. Personally, I am pleased that several physicians were among those who are planning to certify.

We held our first Certification Preparatory Course as a pre-conference workshop in Anaheim on June 5. Thank you to all of you who attended, and who provided your feedback verbally or in writing. Your collective patience as we worked through some logistical issues was much appreciated. I would also like to express the Board's gratitude to our Workshop Organizing Committee and of course to our speakers, Kim Delahanty, Russ Olmsted and Barbara Russell. Many of the comments that we received were very positive and highlighted the value of the review for many attendees. One of our goals over the coming year will be to improve the format of the workshop based on your comments - for example, by allocating time more appropriately for the different sessions; by including more practice questions that will allow participants to learn both content and test-taking skills; and ensuring that handouts or downloads are available before the course.

Our Practice Analysis was completed at the end of May. We are in the process of analyzing the 2,900 responses that we received. We expect to have full results available in the fall and a revised content outline ready for 2015, and look forward to sharing these results with you when they are available.

Please watch for other exciting updates as we move through 2014 and we look forward to celebrating Certified IP/ICP Day with you during International Infection Prevention Week this October!


Kathy Suh, MD, FRCPC, CIC
2014 CBIC President


Meet the Board of Directors-Christine Zirges

Christine Zirges, RN, ACNS-BS, CIC, has been serving on the CBIC Board since 2014. She is currently a Manager at SSM Healthcare-St. Louis and serves on the CBIC Marketing, Policy & Bylaws, and Strategic Planning Committees. We asked Chris a few questions regarding her journey to certification.

How did you become involved in infection prevention and control?
Earlier in my career, infection control was one of the departments that began reporting to me. Because of this, I was part of the operational side of the program and was a member of the infection control committee. I found it both interesting and challenging. This planted the seed! Years later, a position became available at a large university, tertiary care hospital and I was able to build upon what I had learned. Veterans in this field had often told me once you get into this field, you never really leave it.

How did you become involved in infection prevention and control?
Certification in my area of specialty has always been important and always part of my career path, no matter what role I was in. My first position as a new nurse was in critical care. While learning to function in this role, I also began studying for the certification exam. Approximately two years later, I acquired certification as critical care nurse. I have since dropped this distinction as I no longer practice critical care at the bedside. However, upon completion of my advanced degree, I became certified as an advanced practice nurse which I still keep current, along with my CIC. In terms of motivation, it's having the internal desire to be your best at your craft, which for this audience is hospital epidemiology and infection control.

What motivated you to become certified?
Firstly, it solidifies my standing within this profession. I am not "dabbling”, if you will. I am committed to this specialty, to this role and all that goes with it. Secondly, it enforces my commitment to keep up with practice issues and changes. I do take the time to scan the literature and read industry journals on a regular basis. Lastly, it validates a level of competence amongst my peers, my leadership team and the consumer. It does provide another level of credibility.


2014 Practice Analysis

The Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc., (CBIC) provides direction and administers the certification process for infection prevention and control professionals. CBIC performs a practice analysis (PA) survey every 5 years to assess the current practice of infection prevention and control. The last PA survey was conducted in 2009. CBIC conducted the 2009 survey to ensure its certification examination focuses on current infection prevention practice.

CBIC appoints a Task Force to develop the survey, approve the sampling plan and oversee the distribution and analysis of the responses. The purpose of the Practice – or Job Task – Analysis is to identify the responsibilities of the infection preventionist (IP) / Infection Prevention and Control Professional (ICP) in order to maintain a content valid certification examination that is representative of the IP / ICP. Typically, Practice Analyses are conducted every four to five years.

The final survey has been distributed electronically to those actively involved in infection control in multiple health care settings throughout the world. All CICs were strongly encouraged to respond so we could capture data on the current practice of infection prevention and control accurately. The CBIC Board greatly appreciates those who have participated in the survey. We are working diligently to compile the results and are excited to share the analysis in the next couple of months.


Stolen Syringes: How Does a Patient Go into a Hospital and Come Out with Hepatitis C?
Joe Perz, DRPh, MA

When prescription medicines are obtained or used illegally, it is called drug diversion. One example of this occurs when healthcare providers steal patients’ medications for their personal use. This is a serious threat to patient safety. For example, when providers tamper with injectable drugs and use unsafe injection practices, patients can become infected with bloodborne pathogens such as hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), or develop a bacterial infection.

At CDC, we have assisted in the investigation of numerous outbreaks and incidents involving controlled substances that were tampered with by healthcare providers. Some of these have involved providers swapping out new syringes filled with narcotics for used syringes filled with saline. The provider gets the clean narcotics and the patient gets the saline that has been contaminated by the used syringe. To read more, please click here.


**CIC Exam Study Tip**

  • Group Study:
    • Join (or start) a study group; either locally or virtually
    • Use the resources available to you at your job and through your local APIC/IPAC chapter. For example, if you're weak in microbiology ask to spend a few hours with that department to soak up their knowledge.

2014 APIC Annual Conference

CBIC staff and Board members were honored to have a presence at the 2014 APIC Annual Conference in Anaheim, CA. We handed out many CIC and Future CIC ribbons; delighted the future CICs with piggy banks to save up for the exam, and answered a lot of questions regarding certification. Those who were newly certified or re-certified (from May 1, 2013-May 1, 2014) were recognized on posters at the booth. Please click here for some highlights from the booth.


2014 IPAC Canada Annual Conference

Last month, CBIC President, Kathy Suh, MD, FRCPC, CIC and CBIC President-Elect, Kathy McGhie, RN, BScN, CIC had the privilege to represent CBIC at the 2014 IPAC Canada Annual Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. They had many visitors to the booth and enjoyed conversing with the newly certified and those interested in certification.

CBIC President, Kathy Suh, MD, FRCPC, CIC


Certification in the News: Grand Junction VA Medical Center is launching a 2014 Let’s Get Certified Campaign!

Julie Payte, RN, BSN wrote to CBIC telling us that she was developing a local “Let’s Get Certified” campaign at the Grand Junction, VA Medical Center in Colorado. They realize that becoming certified is not only a personal benefit through knowledge and skill enhancement, self-improvement, and career growth, but certification is shown to largely benefit patients, families and medical centers overall. Their strategic planning goal is to increase certification in FY14 by 10%!

She asked if we were willing to help out with spreading the world to the RN’s caring for our Veterans and CBIC was happy to help send informational packets to Julie. Thank you Julie and the rest of the Grand Junction VA Medical Center team for spreading the importance of becoming CIC!

If you have a story you would like to share in an upcoming Enewsletter, please send to info@cbic.org.


Membership Organizations

The Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (CBIC) has the privilege of working with several organizations to spread the word about the importance of being Certified in Infection Control CIC®. For an explanation of how the organizations are different from the Board, please read the descriptions below:

Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (APIC)
APIC - CBIC was formed by APIC in 1980 and APIC remains the sole member of CBIC.
APIC provides the education and implements competency measures for the CIC credential.

International Federation of Infection Control (IFIC)
IFIC - CBIC is a member of the International Federation of Infection Control Associations.
IFIC is comprised of approximately 30 infection control associations worldwide.

Infection Prevention and Control Canada
IPAC Canada – is a national, multidisciplinary association committed to the wellness and safety of Canadians by promoting best practice in infection and control through education, standards, advocacy, and consumer awareness. CBIC has a Canadian representative on the Board of Directors at all times.


CBIC as member of the One & Only Campaign!

We are proud to announce that CBIC has recently become a member of the One & Only Campaign, a public safety campaign to promote safe injection practices in all healthcare settings. By teaming up with the Safe Injection Practices Coalition, we’re joining professional groups, healthcare systems, provider groups, private companies and others dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of injection safety.


Re-Certification Reminder

To maintain certification, the Infection Preventionist must recertify within five calendar years of passing the examination. All currently certified Infection Preventionists are eligible for recertification. If you have not already taken the following steps, please review the following options for recertification:

  1. Take and pass the proctored computer-based test (CBT) examination
    CBIC's Certification in Infection Control (CIC®) examination is administered via computer, five days a week at over 140 Prometric assessment centers in North America. There are no pre-scheduled testing dates. Once a candidate is confirmed eligible s/he will receive notice from CBIC including instructions on how to schedule an examination appointment. Once certified, certification is valid for a five year period. You can apply online via the link on the CBIC website (www.cbic.org). You can also download a candidate handbook at www.cbic.org for all the information on administrative policies and an application form. International certificants can also recertify via the computerized examination. For a list of domestic and international assessment center locations, please go to www.prometric.com/cbic. If you wish to recertify via CBT, you must have your examination appointment scheduled for on or before December 30, 2014 (assessment centers are closed on December 31st).

  2. 2. Take and pass the Self-Achievement Recertification Examination (SARE)
    The SARE is offered online in web-based format. You can schedule testing on your own home computer and on your own schedule.  The test can be ordered at any time between now and December 1, 2014. A passing score must be achieved, and your SARE must be completed by December 31, 2014 at 11:59pm ET. You must have an email address to receive the confirmation e-mail with specific instructions on how to logon to the SARE. The e-mail will include instructions on how to login to the exam. Certificants are able to login and out as many times as necessary, within the established testing window, to complete the examination; responses/answers during the previous logins will be saved. Candidate results are provided following completion of the test and will also be sent to the candidate’s e-mail address.

**Candidates who do not pass the CBT for recertification may not subsequently attempt to recertify by the SARE during their current recertification cycle, but must recertify by CBT before the current certification cycle ends. Recertifying candidates who do not pass the SARE cannot apply to retake the SARE but can apply to recertify by CBT. They must recertify by CBT before the current certification cycle ends.

Please be aware that if you do not recertify within the deadlines outlined above, your certification will lapse on December 31, 2014. If you allow your certification to lapse, you cannot use the CIC® credential after December 31, 2014. Should your certification lapse and you decide to pursue the credential again, you must apply through the same application process, criteria, and fee as a first-time applicant at the time of application.

If you need further information regarding the CBIC Examination process, please visit the CBIC website at www.cbic.org and download the current CBIC Candidate Handbook.

Certification demonstrates to your patients, your employer, and your peers that you have proven competency in infection prevention and control. It also enables you as a professional to build credibility and validate expertise while signifying a commitment to continued practice excellence.

If you have questions about recertifying, please contact the CBIC Executive Office at info@cbic.org or 414.918.9796. Best wishes for success, whichever option you choose.

Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (CBIC)