Infection control is a vital component of today's health care field. Implementing infection control measures as simple as hand washing or as refined as advanced disinfection of surgical instruments can prevent transmission of infectious disease. Infection control protects and promotes the health of the community through prevention, science and assurance of quality health care.
According to the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), "an infection control practitioner (ICP) is typically a registered nurse, physician, epidemiologist, or medical technologist who: helps to prevent healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) by isolating sources of infections and limiting their spread; systematically collects, analyzes and interprets health data in order to plan, implement, evaluate and disseminate appropriate public health practices; and trains healthcare staff through instruction and dissemination of information on infection control practices."
The infection control practitioner plans, develops, directs, implements and evaluates infection prevention within a hospital or health care facility. This position is supervised by the director of nursing and serves to instruct personnel in proper infection control procedure. The infection control practitioner investigates infection control problems and arranges follow-up care for patients exposed to infectious diseases.
The infection control practitioner: conducts rounds, discussing and monitoring infection control practices with staff; collects infection data from departments, maintaining records for each case; trains staff on implementation of infection control practices; investigates incidents of infection and reports such incidents to the director of nursing; and ensures availability of supplies required for infection control.
The infection control practitioner is a highly energetic individual with the desire to develop and implement infection control training programs. The successful candidate is one able to plan and conduct training seminars and exercises with a working knowledge of nursing practice and theory. The infection control practitioner possesses excellent written, interpersonal, time management and presentation skills with flexibility to meet a wide range of service needs.
The successful candidate for infection control holds a bachelor's degree in nursing, a diploma in hospital infection control and two to three years of experience in a hospital setting. A master's degree in epidemiology, public health or a related field is preferred. Previous experience in teaching, curriculum development and instruction design is also desired.
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