Maryam Aslam, CIC

Location: Arar, Saudi Arabia

Company/Organization: Prince Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Bin Musaed Cardiac Center, Arar

Title: Infection Control Practitioner

First Certified: July 2021

1. Why did you choose a career in infection prevention and control?
In fact, this career chose me, when I newly joined Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Bin Musaed Cardiac Center, Arar, KSA, in July 2011. This was a new set up and there was no one assigned in infection control dept., the leadership of the facility assigned me this mission after seeing my abilities, hard work, devotion and commitment towards the work .It was an opportunity for me to learn something new and work to safeguard the patients and staff from infection.

2. What advice would you give someone who is interested in an infection prevention and control career?
Infection control is a field of challenge, where we come across many different diseases, conditions; they may be contagious, we may face bioterrorism attacks, epidemics, pandemics, so as IP we should increase our passion to learn more, keep ourselves updated in scene of knowledge and progress to excel in the field by getting certified.

3. What does being a CIC® mean to you?
Being a CIC was a dream that came true; it gave me more credibility and confidence in my work. I am so proud of my accomplishment. Having a CIC credential is definitely a bonus when looking for a job. It is also a bonus on your resume, and a status symbol, so to speak, giving you a boost up in credibility when needed at your facility. It is evidence that you understand infection control fundamentals.

4. What was the best studying method for you when preparing for the initial certification examination?
The best studying method for me was the study guide, APIC and the CIC academy group on WhatsApp.

5. What advice would you give someone pursuing certification?
My advice for those who are pursuing certification is to be focused, consistent, study hard better to find a study group and practice questions.

6. How do you stay up-to-date on infection prevention and control practices?
I stay up to date by following APIC, CDC, WHO and webinars/ workshops

7. Are you part of an APIC or IPAC Canada chapter? If so, would you recommend it to others?
Not currently, but will join soon, and I recommend others to be a part of it to keep ourselves up to date.

8. How has the CIC® helped you grow professionally and in your career?
Being a CIC gave me more respect and power in my practice in the meaning of when I take a decision related to patient’s condition or when I want to implement a practice, the board of directors sees it coming from somebody who is professional in the career not from an ordinary employee. The nursing team is seeing me as reference in the subject and they rely more on my opinion

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

Being a CIC was a dream and more of a challenge for me and it kept me up from the time I set the goal of getting the CIC, I remember all the sleepless nights, heavy duty hours in Covid
pandemic, taking care of family including a baby of 4 months only.
My mentor had trust in me that instead of all these hardships I will get the CIC which I didn’t break to excel with high score.
I remember the night before the exam I was unable to sleep; and I received a text message from our leader in our study group, for best wishes and advice of ‘sleep the night before the exam’ and ‘eat well before the exam even some chocolates’ to keep us oriented during the exam.