Ma. Rebecca B Bulaklak, BSN, RM, RN, BCHS, CIC

Location: Bisha, Aseer Region, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Company/Organization: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Ministry of Health

Title: Infection Control Practioner

First Certified: November 2022

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

Infection Prevention and Control wasn’t new for me, being a nurse working in the clinical area. But my knowledge about IC was limited to the basic of standard precautions.Not until I travelled and work in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. After 5 years of working in the medical surgical and orthopaedics department as a head nurse, an offer came for me to work in Infection control department. I accepted the offer and took the challenge, and started reading, researching and applying evidenced based scientific guidelines and protocols of infection prevention and control in my daily activities as an infection control practitioner

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

Go for it, engaging and working in the preventing and control of infection is challenging but so self-rewarding. Task may seems to be difficult and involves a lot of reading, researching, validating and bench marking, but you will  be meeting and working with different people from different departments that will expand your horizon and  will make you more confident, and people will look up to you as someone in authority.

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

 CIC means Credibility, Commitment and Consistency. Being certified gives me more Confidence  and self-worth and I became more efficient and accurate in the performance of my task as an IP which eventually lead to improved patient care and promoted patient safety

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

Preparation differs from each individual. Some are good in memory retention by just merely reading text or watching videos, while others comprehend more by interaction. For me I did both ,read  APIC, CDC guidelines and other scientific evidenced based documents and joined  the CIC academy study group. Bridging the gap between theory and practice is very important especially for those who are already working in infection control  just like me and wants  to be certified. 

5. What advice would you give someone pursuing certification?

Dedication and commitment is very important when you want to pursue certification. Don’t just read or joined group discussion especially when you don’t have actual exposure or you are not working as IP, you need to have the actual hands on experience for you to understand the context of infection prevention.

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

You do not stop learning after being certified, but rather has to continue reading, researching to be updated of the latest guidelines regarding infection. You can do this by expanding your network through social media and webinar

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

As of now, No, but would work to be part of it 

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

CIC  is one of the biggest milestone in my professional growth. It has expanded my knowledge and expertise and gave me confidence that gained me patient and peer respect

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. 

My story goes back few days before my examination day and the day I took the exam. The night before my exam, I was  sitting and staring at all the chapters of APIC and CDC guidelines, my laptop on with you tube videos and suddenly  I burst into tears, nothing is getting into the neuron of my brains and started to panic because I still have a lot of catching up to do. When the exam date came, I closed my eyes, took a  deep breathe and started the exam. After I am done, submitted it and the proctor told me you passed. I was speechless and tears start rolling my eyes, and immediately called the person who never stop motivating me to be certified, Ms Shazia and the founder of CIC Academy  Mr Maher Mahdi who has been the instrument of my certification, to which I will forever be grateful .