Ruth Sutherland, RN, CIC

Location: Nelson, BC, Canada

Title: Infection Prevention & Control Professional

Company/Organization: Interior Health

First Certified: September 2020

When I was interviewed for my position the first question I was asked :  Why did you apply for this position?

My Answer: WELL….” It is not a matter of IF we have a Pandemic it will be a matter of when, and this Health Authority is NOT prepared. I know this  from working the units of  ICU/ED /Critical Care Transport (20 + years) ;Management (8 years); and since taking  my recent IPAC course. My motto/goal is to be PROACTIVE  rather than REACTIVE.” Little did I know how much TRUTH there was to this statement, but then again, how could we be prepared as we have never dealt with this in over 100 years.

The best thing that could have happened is the Pandemic  pushed IPAC into the limelight. I was a HOT commodity.  Every Unit WANTED me. I was booked for education session/ staff meeting/ huddles/ don/doffing session etc. where as the month before  I could BARELY get an invite to any meeting  to review the importance of Hand Hygiene/PCRA point of care risk assessments/PPE donning and doffing / equipment cleaning / surveillance etc… you name it I  was there….They called, I came…  LOVING the Attention IPAC was FINALLY getting! I was on a COVID HIGH for the first year, but that High can not last forever and now I am EXHAUSTED. I am DONE DONE DONE some days  and I have to have to DIG DEEP inside my soul to  gently remind staff again and again AND AGAIN to wear their PPE correctly and  keep social distancing while in the nursing station to prevent Outbreaks in the facilities, not to mention providing and reading/reviewing  updated documents again to leadership due to the constant changes. I could go on but I won’t because I STILL LOVE MY JOB .

I still wake up every day and come to work with a glad heart, thankful to be healthy, to have a job, and provide support to the frontline workers as I am part of their teams now. It is the little thanks I get from staff that keeps me going and keeps me renewed!   

Hi Ruth

I just wanted to let you know our nurses were so appreciative of you coming yesterday. They said you are the most approachable infection control nurse they have met and felt you were very helpful and kind in answering their questions. They felt safe asking you anything and thought it was so helpful that you met them where they were at in terms of realities on our unit.

Thanks again,


I am a NURSE, but more importantly, I am an IPAC RN during a PANDEMIC….HOW COOL  IS THAT!