Dr. Janet Hsieh-Li, DNP, RN, CIC

Location: Queens, New York
Company/Organization: NYC Children’s Center
Title: Infection Preventionist
First certified: September 2022

1. Why did you choose a career in infection prevention and control?
I initially chose a career in Infection Control and Prevention as I wanted a job that allowed me to have all weekends off and not have to deal with staffing and other administrative issues related to being a middle manager. As I crossed over from administration to being an IP, I realized that I was more effective in improving Nursing Practice and Patient Safety by engaging with staff from diverse backgrounds and understanding their perspectives without the confines of managerial and supervisory responsibilities.  

2. What advice would you give someone who is interested in an infection prevention and control career?
My first advice would be to breathe-connect with peers and the incredible network of IPs who will support you through unimaginable situations. If you are a professional who is analytical, detailed, willing to learn, and a people person, you will embrace this exciting life of an IP.

3. What does being a CIC® mean to you?
 Achieving the CIC has been a professional and personal milestone that I am particularly proud of. This nationally recognized credential signifies my commitment to ongoing professional development based on my philosophy of being a life-long learner. 

4. What was the best studying method for you when preparing for the initial certification examination?
The study materials that worked for me were the APIC textbooks, practice exams, and my self-created flash cards. To achieve the curriculum objective, the student should have a well-defined, structured study plan with a timeline. Having a mentor to help me clarify concepts was very helpful to me.

5. What advice would you give someone pursuing certification?
 Do not self-doubt your knowledge and experience. Read your materials well- pace yourself- and you will do fine. 

6. How do you stay up-to-date on infection prevention and control practices?
 I keep myself up to date by attending conferences, reading journals, and learning from my APIC chapter peers.

7. Are you part of an APIC or IPAC Canada chapter? If so, would you recommend it to others?
I am an APIC Chapter member and would highly recommend it to others. Through APIC, I am connected to the phenomenal and dedicated group of IPs across the continuum of care. 

8. How has the CIC® helped you grow professionally and in your career?
I am a brand-new CIC member, as I just passed the certification exam a few days ago. I am aware that the CIC designation carries a lot of respect in the health care community and has tremendous potential in furthering one’s career and profession. 

9. Are there any CIC® stories that keep you up at night?  

As an IP in a behavioral health setting, combatting the Covid pandemic has been challenging. Seeing so many employees still clinging to vaccine myths and questioning science is painful. Despite setbacks, I continue to work on staff without shame and blame to make them understand the critical importance of vaccination in fighting infectious diseases. In the meantime, I celebrate small successes along the journey when a few anti-vaxxer staff are convinced to take the vaccine.