1. Why did you choose a career in infection prevention and control?
Actually, Infection Prevention chose me. The IP position had been abandoned and I was asked if I was interested. This was 2002 and the hospital was not clear on the role of the Infection Control nurse, but they knew they needed one. I was advised to join the local APIC group and was sent to onsite training then known as EPI 1. After meeting this unique group of people and learning some of the basics of infection prevention, I was hooked.
What advice would you give someone who is interested in an infection prevention and control career?
My advice to anyone interested in a career in infection prevention is to first research the position and find a mentor. They will need to understand that not everyone will understand your value and this position can be very challenging at times. Having a good support system of seasoned Infection Preventionists is a must.
What does being a CIC® mean to you?
CIC means that I am an expert in my field. It reminds me of my commitment to the profession and I am very proud to use the initials at the end of my name.
What was the best studying method for you when preparing for the initial certification examination?
The best studying method for preparing me for the initial certification was group studying and reaching out to resources in the facility (OR, SPD, Micro, etc.) to help me understand their processes and strategies to mitigate infections. I dressed out several times and spent time in the SPD department until I understood their processes which was very foreign to me in the beginning.
What advice would you give someone pursuing certification?
My advice to anyone pursuing certification is to take it seriously, study hard, read all of the chapters in the APIC manual as well as the recommended resources, and pray!
How do you stay up-to-date on infection prevention and control practices?
I stay up to date on infection prevention and control practices by reading articles in the AJIC, monitoring the APIC website for articles and Q&As on different topics and from networking with IPs in various settings as well as monitoring the CDC website for updates.
7. Am I part of an APIC chapter? If so, would I recommend it to others?
Yes, I maintain APIC chapter membership and I would definitely recommend local and national APIC membership for all IPs.
8. How has the CIC helped me grow professionally in my career?
CIC certification has opened several doors for me in my career. It has allowed me to remain competitive as an infection preventionist. Perspective employers prefer/highly recommend CIC certification.
9. Are there any CIC stories that keep me up at night?