Jasper Kim Wagan, BSN-RN, GCert Infec, CIC®

Location: Based in Dubai, UAE with missions in other Middle East Countries (Iraq, Yemen,
Jordan, Palestine, Iran, and Afghanistan

Company/Organization: Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders)

Title: Infection Prevention and Control Mobile Implementation Officer

First Certified: 2019

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

I can say that it was like an accidental but fulfilling career path. Being a nurse since 2011, I really don’t have a specific career plan but I’m always curious and eager to learn infectious diseases. Last 2017 when my Senior Charge Nurse for IPC planned to leave our organisation,
it was the opportunity given to me to be trained and that’s where it all started. It opened a different perspective on how I see quality care inside of Infection Prevention and Control. I doubt myself first but with a supportive environment, and constructive criticisms from my colleagues, I was able to grow and now working in other part of healthcare system implementing IPC in a realistic approach. 

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

When I started this career as an IPC, I’m a little bit narrow and focus on what is written. Having now the knowledge and experience, I’m always sharing that IPC should be approached in a realistic way based on the context of a facility/hospital/project. Sometimes there will be
resistance regarding the understanding of IPC but giving options or recommendations to end-users and involving them to discussions then having this career will never be difficult but will be rewarding at the end of the day. Lastly, the most satisfying part of being an IPC Professional
is when staff has the audacity of opening a discussion of improving IPC Practices without the feeling of being condemned if they made a mistake.

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

Having certification not only means having knowledge and experience but also expanding my career and use it as a strength and opportunity. CIC® does not stop us from learning new or developed IPC practices. It guides me to pursue more of my career in IPC by not focusing
only in one set-up of healthcare but looking at a different context of practices from high to low resource sectors

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

I really can’t define the best method, but if you have already the experience then last thing is use validated resources which are accessible, and you’ll be able pass your initial certification. Use evidenced-based resources such as APIC, CDC, WHO, and others from European to
Australasian IPC studies. A mixture of these resources is the best method that worked for me and try to incorporate in your daily practice to ensure retention of knowledge. This is just one way of studying I used towards my initial certification and an endless cup of coffee

5. What advice would you give someone pursuing certification?

Use your knowledge and experience for your initial certification. Take your time, don’t take it in a hurry phase, be patient, earn by knowledge and experience. Don’t be afraid to fail, I failed once, and it helped me to pursue and understand my weaknesses and use it as my opportunityto learn and make it as my strength. Certification is not just an official logo at the end of your name but a condition that you understood the essence of IPC

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

Though working full-time makes it difficult to stay up to date but there are variety of ways how keep myself unto it. Since I’ve been working in UAE for a prolong period, a local APIC chapter conducts annual conference that I’m always attending. Many resources such as what I used
in my initial certification is being up to date so going back on those resources are useful. I also made goals annually to study as such finished my Post Graduate Certificate in IPC. With that said, it’s up to you how you can stay up to date, with many options such as conferences and
subscription to scientific journals will be very beneficial. Don’t forget to have open discussion with your colleagues (e.g., Doctors, Nurses, and Allied Health Staff) as well as they may have up to date knowledge and skills that are related to IPC. Learning does not stop once you are

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

I was before, but due to some commitment recently to a humanitarian work I was not able to renew my local chapter in APIC UAE. Thus, it is highly recommended to be part of a national or international chapter as this will help in staying up to date and know more IPC professionals
around you.

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

Professionally, it helped me a lot in terms of my career. It started as a baby step towards being a fulltime IPC professional. It boosts my confidence to work in different healthcare set-up, communicate with different levels of management, apply IPC in a realistic approach and able
to commission a hospital. Different experiences from simple hand hygiene improvement program towards to more complicated IPC management of Pseudomonas aeruginosa outbreak, legionella control, mold remediation and with the COVID-19 Pandemic challenged me on how I can manage it as a single IPC professional in our hospital. Now, I have fulfilled part of my career pathway and able to work within a humanitarian sector.

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

Actually, there isn’t, why? Because each story is unique in their own ways and influence us IPC Professional in such a beautiful way. It may sound cliché but, each IPC professional has experienced different difficulties thus with each of those stories, it helps us other IPC to grow
and discover ways how we improve ourselves professionally in our field