Benjamin Pagarigan III, CIC

Location: Livonia, Michigan, United States of America

Company/Organization: Optalis Healthcare/Fountain Bleu Health and Rehabilitation Center

Title: MD/Infection Control Director

First certified: July 16, 2022

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

I have work in Healthcare settings for a long time now and whichever part of the hospital you go or department you stay, Infection will always be a challenge. I choose this career because I believe that I Can make this world a better place in terms of disease prevention. My goal in life is centered on Patient safety and I can achieve most of this with a very good foundation in Infection Control and Epidemiology. 

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

My advice is to pick a degree in Medical technology/Medical Laboratory Scientist because it will cover important topics in Infection Prevention like Microbiology and Parasitology, Laboratory testing, Chemistry, Research and Statistics. You can take other courses like Nursing and other healthcare related courses but for me, Medical technology is the best preparatory course.

3. What does being a CIC® mean to you?

Being a CIC is not just letters or words that can be added after your name. It is a legacy that you can show the world that you have the knowledge and you can confidently manage any facility, any infections, any outbreak with patient safety in mind in making the world safe thru infection prevention.

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

The best study method is consistency. Be consistent with how you study. It doesn’t matter if you can only study twice a week, as long as you give time to study. 2-3 hours twice a week for 6-9 months is enough. Focus more on the first 3 topics but don’t forget the other topics. It would be a good practice also if you answer practice questions every after a topic.

5. What advice would you give someone pursuing certification?

If you are currently working as an infection preventionist, pay attention to what you do. Because you might not notice it but the principles of infection prevention is already there. If you are new to the field, learn from your seniors and never stop reading. The ultimate goal by this time is for you not only to understand what you read but to know the rationale and reasons why they do this and why they do that.

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

I get up to date by being a member of APIC and other organizations. They provide reading materials, research, studies and guidelines. You can message co-member and ask questions. I also read validated journals.

7. Are you part of an APIC or IPAC Canada chapter? If so, would you recommend it to others?

I am member of APIC and Yes, definitely I will recommend this to all Infection Preventionist all over the world.

8. How has the CIC® helped you grow professionally and in your career?

CIC gave me the Knowledge, authority and respect. Staff and Patients listen to me and its easier for me to run programs in infection control. 

9. Are there any CIC® stories that keep you up at night? This can be related to the examination or a specific patient story that stands out. 

We had an outbreak recently and cases went up fast and as a CIC my knowledge and skills were put to test. 2 weeks of 24/7 on call. There was a point where our Chief Operating Officer told us “Maybe you are doing it right” I was worried but confident and with great staff, we manage to control the spread of infection. Situation like this sometimes makes you shake but when you stick with the principles of infection prevention, you will always win.