1.Why did you choose a career in infection prevention and control?
I chose infection prevention and control because infection control practitioners are experts in preventing and controlling healthcare-associated infections. I can use my knowledge and experience to plan, develop, implement, coordinate, and evaluate system-wide infection prevention and control improvements. As a role model, I can promote the goals of the Infection Prevention and Control program within the larger context of the organization's vision and mission.
2. What advice would you give someone who is interested in an infection prevention and control career?
An Infection Control Practitioners can serve as role models for the larger organization's vision and mission by promoting the goals of the Infection Prevention and Control program. By interpreting and applying standards, an ICP (Infection Control Practitioner) facilitates change in an organization and provides best practice recommendations across the entire organization to prevent healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and improve patient outcomes.
3. What does being a CIC® mean to you?
The CIC® credential identifies healthcare professionals with advanced infection prevention and control knowledge. CIC® is also an internationally recognized certification in infection prevention and control. Credibility and prestige are also enhanced by being a CIC®.
4. What was the best studying method for you when preparing for the initial certification examination?
To prepare for the CIC® Exam, I used the APIC textbook and CBIC Exam Prep Resources. Four months before the exam, I studied individually by setting aside 2 hours daily for exam preparation.
5. What advice would you give someone pursuing certification?
Certification in infection control is a highly acclaimed accreditation for infection control professionals in any healthcare setting. Certification is an objective way to verify and accept your knowledge of infection prevention. Developing expertise in infection prevention guiding principles enhances your role as a healthcare professional.
6. How do you stay up-to-date on infection prevention and control practices?
My knowledge base includes Public Health Ontario's best practice guidelines, the APIC textbook, the Canadian Journal of Infection Control, CDC guidelines, and IPAC Canada updates and webinars.
7. Are you part of an APIC or IPAC Canada chapter? If so, would you recommend it to others?
I have been an APIC, IPAC Canada, and IPAC GTA chapter member since 2020. I have been encouraging the IPAC Leads in my 36 Long Term Care Homes at Sienna Senior Living to be a member of APIC and IPAC Canada.
8. How has the CIC® helped you grow professionally and in your career?
CIC® has hugely impacted my career growth. I was promoted to be Sienna Senior Living's Regional Infection Control Partner, supporting 36 long-term care homes in Ontario, Canada. Recently, I also earned the CPHQ (Certified Professionals in Healthcare Quality) certification, which has boosted my confidence in dealing with infection prevention and control. In addition, I was part of the LTC-CIP exam development committee in 2022 for the item review workshop at APIC Headquarters in Arlington.
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.
When I took the CIC exam, I worked full-time as an Infection Control Practitioner at a busy rehabilitation facility in Toronto. It was my first attempt at one of the most competitive certification exams in the world. With a 9-5 job, it is usually challenging to devote more than 2 hours per day. Due to my busy schedule at work and being a single mother, it wasn't easy to balance my studies and work. As a result, there were some days when I couldn't prepare for the exam. As I wanted to pass the exam on my first attempt, I was nervous at night and couldn't sleep properly. Just before the exam date, I took one week off, which gave me enough time to prepare and pass the exam on the first attempt.