Shazia Irum, RN, BSC, MSC, MBA, CIC

Location: Saudi Arabia 

Title: Infection Control Practitioner

Company/Organization: King Salman Center for Kidney Diseases

First Certified: August 2019

In my past 6 years of Infection Control experience, I never had an encounter with any single outbreak in my facility.  COVID-19 realized me that this is really a serious threat and specially when it was declared by WHO as a pandemic.

It was a great challenge for me to deal with such devastated situation when it reached to us and attacked on our patients and healthcare workers. At first, things were not much clear, however with the support of maximum available literature, my CIC knowledge, competencies helped me in an abundant way to deal with this disputed situation. I and my team, stood firmly beside our patients and staff who were suffering with COVID-19 as well as developed a process of implementing maximum prevention strategies in order to stop the further spread within the facility. CIC knowledge and certification gave me additional strength and confidence in terms of to take precise decisions on the spot and to deliver evidence based information to all my staff and administration.

I and my team used to work tirelessly throughout the day and night which includes infection prevention issues, emotional support to staff and patients, counselling and reassurance.  I am very thankful to my administration also for providing all the required resources to support and maintain our best infection prevention practices in the facility. While the nation was struggling with the shortage of PPEs, my facility worked persistently to provide enough amount of all items for the safety of staff and patients.

Educating the staff on evidence based practices, how to prevent exposures, when and what type of PPE to wear under certain conditions and implementing the universal masking policy have been effective infection prevention & control interventions for preventing COVID-19 occupational exposures.

At the end I would disclose my story with some heartfelt saying which is the voice of every dedicated IP.

’We do not stay at home, we stay at field

We do not quarantine ourselves, we expose ourselves to provide care

We do not blame people when they have an exposure, we assure them and screen them to ensure they get back to their loved ones’ safe

We do not sleep well, we continuously answering all queries from the public and the hospital

We do not cut our workforce by 50%, we double our effort to help people

We do not give education only virtually, we do face to face to ensure maximum compliance.’’