1. Why did you choose a career in infection prevention and control?
My current employment (which I have held for the last 2 years) has put me in a position where I am part of team that is working to establish capacity to conduct clinical trials for emerging infectious diseases, with a focus on filoviruses. One of my deliverables is building a rigorous safety culture in this clinical research team including use of best practices in infection prevention and control. As a clinician, I had received no training beyond an introduction to Infection control in my first few days on the job, yet the job was very demanding. Fast forward a year and a half into the job, I had learnt so much, including supporting develop a training plan, drafting and implementing Various policies and Standard operating procedures, and documenting staff competencies in the various skills. This achievement inspired me to take it a notch higher and build a career in infection prevention.
2. How did you first hear about the CIC®?
There has been a lot of mention of infection prevention and control in many arenas especially with the Ebola outbreak in eastern DRC being less than 100km from our site at Fort Portal, Kabalore District but no one was giving the exposition that I needed to further understand IPC beyond hand hygiene, waste management and sharps safety (standard precautions). Realizing the need for Infection control expertise in my region and Uganda as a whole, I searched the internet for career opportunities in infection control. I learnt of a few postgraduate programs that were all either in Europe, Australia and the United States.
However, the CBIC certification program caught my eye because it is competency based, it was not expensive in terms of funding and time commitments and there was an opportunity to get the certification, by taking the exam in Nairobi (600km from Kampala, Uganda)
3. As an international candidate, what types of hurdles, if any, did you have to overcome to take the CIC® exam?
Having learnt of the CIC exam in November 2018, I took it upon myself to attempt the exam in a space of 6 months. However, having no CICs in my practice environment and having no guidance from peers on how to prepare for the exam was quite difficult to cope with, especially months into the preparation when you start to lose focus and motivation. I followed the recommendation to visit the APIC website for resources as in the candidate prep book and despite parting with more personal funds to get study material, the scope was right, the material was evidence based and up-to-date: best dollars I spent in the preparations for the exam. When I shared the progress I had made with my supervisors, they supported me in mobilizing funds for exam fees and I was able to take the exam in the timeframe I had set. The other challenge was that the material was tailor made for a western-world practice setting and some of
the recommendations did not seem applicable to the low-income setting that I work in. Overall, the material and knowledge helped me get a vison of what healthcare in a safe environment should be.
4. If you have recertified, why do you stay certified?
5. What advice would you give someone like you interested in taking the CIC®?
My advice would be that infection prevention is an amazing field that gives you opportunity to be invested in generating evidence for changing systems for quality, consistency and safety in healthcare.
What resources did you find useful?
- APIC text online
- AJIC peer reviewed articles
- APIC Certification guide 6th Edition
6. How do you stay informed with the latest industry news?
- I subscribe to mailing lists
- Read peer-reviewed literature
- Attend research meetings and journal clubs at my workplace
7. Finally, what does it mean to you to be a CIC®?
Being the first CIC in my country and in the region means that I am pioneering the era of benchmarked IPC competency and a leader in the field. It means I have made a commitment to best practices in infection control and to support generating evidence applicable to the low-resource setting.