1. Why did you choose a career in infection prevention and control?
I did not choose IPC (Infection Prevention and Control) actually. Rather destiny chose it for me because I got MD- Clinical Microbiology as my branch for post-graduation in which I had a rigorous training not just in microbiology but HIC (Hospital Infection control) as well. Subsequently I got a job in Saudi Arabia where there was an ongoing outbreak of MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus). The first hand experience of dealing with the outbreak and the high standards of IPC (Infection Prevention and Control) in Saudi Arabia had helped me to hone up the skills needed for the challenges which came later such as COVID-19. It was in Saudi Arabia that I took the CIC exam and I could clear the exam because I had faced the case based scenarios which are asked in the exam during my tenure there.
2. What advice would you give someone who is interested in an infection prevention and control career?
Its an exciting branch dealing with infectious agents. It is all the more relevant in the present time due to challenges posed by infections such as MERS-COV, COVID-19, MDRO (Multi Drug Resistant Organisms), HAIs (Hospital Acquired Infection), etc in hospitals. If investigating outbreaks, dealing with HAIs, championing anti-microbial stewardship evokes enthusiasm in you, then this is the right place.
3. What does being a CIC® mean to you?
CIC is the gold standard all over the world for proficiency in Infection Prevention and Control and it is a matter of great honour to be a part of CBIC organization.
4. What was the best studying method for you when preparing for the initial certification examination?
I used to have extensive discussion with colleagues who were preparing for CIC and we would discuss various aspects of the subject after studying topics from APIC. It helped consolidating the knowledge gained from studying the book.
5. What advice would you give someone pursuing certification?
My advice will be to be consistent in the efforts not only in studies but also in implementing the infection control standards as the exam evaluates the capability to face and trouble-shoot in various real-life scenarios which one may face.
6. How do you stay up-to-date on infection prevention and control practices?
I try to keep abreast with the latest developments by reading journals and attending seminars / webinars, CME (Continuing Medical Education) events, conferences, etc whenever possible.
7. Are you part of an APIC or IPAC Canada chapter? If so, would you recommend it to others?
8. How has the CIC® helped you grow professionally and in your career?
Apart from being a matter of immense pride, becoming a CIC has instilled a sense of responsibility to uphold the loft standards set by CBIC and I try my best to implement the same in my institute.
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.
There are very many, but one of the significant is the day when initial batch COVID-19 patients from abroad came to our hospital in March 2020. We had a brain-storming session a day earlier to conduct a drill for possible influx of patients in view of COVID-19 outbreak in other countries. But instead of drill, we faced real patients next day and we did very well because we had made preparations ahead of time. That’s what good IPC team does, i.e. it anticipates and aims to prevent an adversity before it strikes. It was a very satisfying experience.