Robert Palardy, LTC-CIP 

Location: California

Company/Organization: Balboa Nursing and Rehab, University Care Center

Title: Infection Preventionist

First Certified: October 2022

  1. Why did you choose a career in infection prevention and control?

Back when I was a DSD, I was already maintaining the Antibiotic Surveillance Program for the facility I was working at, however back then we were not identified as IP's. 20 years later, facilities were required to have a full-time IP. This is when my love for infection control took off and it fascinated me. I felt like I was helping my patients, and providing the proper education when it came to the ASP. 

  1. What advice would you give someone who is interested in an infection prevention and control career?

Currently in the position I hold now, I am the infection preventionist that goes to our companies' facilities to help train the new hire IP's. I also work closely with the nursing consultants and provide up to date education for our current IP's. I believe that if you are a nurse that wants to make a difference being and IP is a rewarding side of nursing and the knowledge you will learn is never ending. 

  1. What does being LTC-CIP  mean to you?

Being and LTC-CIP to me has been an honor and others turn to me for advice and education. I have nurses who are RNs with more nursing experience than I do. However, with what I have learned as an IP, especially with the LTC-CIP, I have noticed that I now get more respect from my peers as well as the physicians I work with. I have a great repour with CDPH as well as County Health. 

  1. What was the best studying method for you when preparing for the initial certification examination?

Fortunately, I am lucky to be able to attend the CDPH / County calls weekly that keep us up to date with what is happening in the county I work as well as HSAG and they are a great support system. As far as being and LTC-CIP the extended studies I had to do to obtain this certification prepared me and my facility for the Covid-19 outbreaks we were all having at the time. 

  1. What advice would you give someone pursuing certification?

Do it. The knowledge you will obtain will make you a better nurse or infection preventionist. I plan to study for the A-IPC next. I would love to be a CIC however I am not eligible because I am an LVN. 

  1. How do you stay up-to-date on infection prevention and control practices?

For me I used the study guides for CBIC as well as APIC, I also talked to physicians and CIC nurses when I was unsure about something I was studying. 

      7. How has the LTC-CIP helped you grow professionally and in your career?

Since I have obtained my LTC-CIP, the company I work for has allowed me to work in a consultant role helping our sister facilities with preparing for surveys as well as training new staff hired into the position as IP. I also help with the mock surveys in the company and am currently working with San Diego County Health to help reduce Asymptomatic Bacteriuria. I will be a spokesperson for the skilled nursing facilities in the county.