- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.