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International Infection Prevention Week 2021: Infection Prevention with Intention

Deciding on a career in the field of Infection Prevention is different today than it was 30 years ago. Infection Prevention has evolved over the past 30 years. It is a broader field.

Becoming an Infection Preventionist provides a deeper insight into the operations of a healthcare facility and their role in the community. It touches every department within the organization.

An Infection Preventionist almost has to become a politician to play the game between physicians, nursing leadership, nurses in all of the various settings with different, yes, I will dare say "temperaments" as well as all of the other healthcare workers in the other departments.

With intention, a new IP needs to find their way to become accepted and heard whether you are a registered nurse, a microbiologist or a person with a MPH. It isn't necessarily an easy path even when the world is not in the middle of a pandemic.

This pandemic has challenged many colleagues, new and seasoned. Some have chosen to leave the field for a variety of reasons: long and exhausting hours (so much for thinking it was a Monday - Friday or 8 AM to 4:30 PM gig), lack of support from administration to do what is right to protect the HCWs and patients which happened prior to the pandemic, information changing daily if not hourly. For those of you that were around in 2014 we experienced something similar with Ebola.

If you were practicing in the mid to late eighties, when the world was coping with HIV/AIDS, it was challenging for years then too but time has a way of making some of the challenges fade. The epidemiologist I worked with for years said when you choose to work in healthcare you are making a conscious decision to place yourself in situations that may put you at risk. In other words, you intentionally made this decision. Of course there are varying degrees of risk.

In looking to the future, many will intentionally chose a career in the field of Infection Prevention and Control. It certainly can be rewarding. During this pandemic, Infection Prevention has certainly been highlighted.

There was good intention when legislation was passed to have an Infection Preventionist in long term care, however, this pandemic has also demonstrated that the field could and should expand into school districts. Hopefully some of the longstanding concerns related to the ratio of IP's needed in a facility can finally be addressed and that this role will stay in the forefront and be viewed with intention as to its necessity in the prevention of not just HAIs but community acquired infections as well.

Here's to my colleagues in acute care, long term care, ambulatory, public health, at the state and local levels, and industry for helping to protect our patients and their families, healthcare workers and communities.

May IIPW 2021 allow you an opportunity to reflect with intention on a job well done and all of you are HEROs in Infection Prevention and Control.

source: https://www.marketscreener.com/quote/stock/DIVERSEY-HOLDINGS-LTD-120405768/news/International-Infection-Prevention-Week-2021-Infection-Prevention-with-Intention-36654167/