Jessica Tarabay, CIC

Location: Atlanta, Georgia


Title: Infection Prevention Coordinator

First Certified: May 2017

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

I chose a career in IP&C to utilize the epidemiological skills I learned through my public health background while simultaneously being an agent of change in hospital infection prevention. IP&C allows me to be an advocate for patient safety directly and indirectly and across a variety of disciplines in the healthcare setting.

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

The opportunities of infection prevention and control are endless and with healthcare continuing to evolve, infection prevention and control will be essential across the healthcare continuum. Choose the setting that speaks most to you and get certified.

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

CIC to me means I hold proficient skills in infection prevention to provide recommendations and be the subject matter expert to those that seek those recommendations. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential for people to get accurate information that is supported by science and evidence-based practices. Healthcare based Infection Preventionsts are constantly sought out to provide guidance through the challenges of this pandemic; the CIC gives our customers a layer of confidence in our subject matter expertise.

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

Practice tests and flash cards were the best methods for me where I could apply knowledge and utilize critical thinking skills.

  1. What advice would you give someone pursuing certification?

Immerse yourself around experienced IPs, ask questions, and give yourself plenty of time to study.

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

Research and literature reviews on evolving best practices, webinars, and conference attendance.

  1. Are you part of an APIC or IPAC Canada chapter? If so, would you recommend it to others? Yes, I highly recommend any Infection Preventionist to be a member of APIC or IPAC. This is the largest professional group for the field. Also, networking with other members and becoming involved with local chapters allow opportunities for professional growth.
  2. How has the CIC® helped you grow professionally and in your career?

The CIC has allowed me to evolve in the field of IP&C and strengthen areas that I am less proficient in, while utilizing my strengths to work as part of a team.

  1. 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.

Working as an Infection Preventionist for severely immunosuppressed and NICU patients, I am more aware of how the environment plays a role in hospital acquired infections. One story in particular are NICU babies that acquired a Pseudomonas aeruginosa respiratory infections via tap water and formation of biofilm and environmental transmission. The quick identification of these cases allowed for quick reconciliation to mitigate concerns and push practice changes.