Carmen Duke, MPH, CIC

Location: Savannah, GA

Company/Organization: Memorial Health University Medical Center

Title: Director, Infection Prevention

First Certified: November 2018

1. Why you choose a career in Infection Prevention & Control?

I am very passionate about prevention in every way, which is what led to me pursing a Master’s in Public Health. As I was looking for job opportunities, I realized infection prevention in the hospital setting allows me to use the knowledge I gained through that program and work every day to ensure we are providing the best, safest care to patients. 

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

Spend time shadowing or being an intern in an infection prevention department to see if it is the right fit for you. If you love educating people, looking into epidemiology, process improvement, etc. it might be a good fit!

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

Being CIC certified gives me confidence in my role and opens up many doors of opportunities.

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

The most helpful study method for me was to take practice exams in order to find the gaps in my knowledge, and utilize the APIC text and other resources to study the topics I was weak in. This gave me the opportunity to go in depth in areas I had not been exposed to.

5. What advice would you give to someone pursuing certification?

Set a goal for yourself on when you would like to be certified. As the date approaches, commit to studying each week so you feel prepared and confident when sitting for the exam.

6. How do you stay up to date on Infection Prevention and Control Practices?

By being a part of my local APIC chapter and attending yearly conferences. I also try to stay up to date with news out of CDC and major organizations such as AORN, SGNA, ASHRAE, TJC, etc.  

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

Yes, I am a part of my local APIC chapter and highly recommend it to others for learning opportunities, networking, and fun!

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

Having my CIC helped me be able to advance my career from practitioner to director when the opportunity came. 

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.

Hearing about construction related outbreaks in facilities as I was learning about ICRAs still keep me up at night when we have particular construction projects going on in high-risk areas. Stories of legionella outbreaks can also keep me up at night.