A heartfelt thank you goes out to all of the infection prevention professionals who joined us in Las Vegas in January for the firstever ICT Conference on Professional Development. It was a three-day learning and laughter fest, where infection control practitioners (ICPs) could network, problem-solve, and hear about best practices from experienced, passionate members of the infection control community. I extend my deepest appreciation to our sponsors Bullard, STERIS, and BD as well as to the companies that donated prizes for various giveaways at the conference: Infectious Awareables, Glo Germ, Ruhof Corporation, and Dial Corporation.
I also salute our stellar faculty, the individuals who gave of their time and expertise for the edification of their infection prevention colleagues. It was a diverse audience of attendees, with participants varying in their levels of experience, and hailing from facilities big and small. During our Gripe Night session, for example, ICPS from all walks of life were able to brainstorm concrete solutions to common problems and challenges everyone faces regardless of facility demographics. It was a chance to hear some pretty eye-opening scenarios and share some innovative and clever ways of addressing these infection control program pitfalls. I continue to be impressed with the ideas that pour out of ICPs, and the eagerness with which they share information and encourage their peers. The camaraderie was unmatched!
Every speaker brought his or her unique wisdom to the podium, and it was a joy to partake in the strategic advice that proliferated during the three-day event. For instance, speaker Libby Chinnes recommended to attendees that all ICPs hone their elevator speech, in which they could articulate their job and its significance in 30 seconds or less. As many speakers alluded to the importance of making the business case for infection prevention and control, it was driven home that ICPs must absolutely demonstrate the value of their programs for the benefit of their facility, their fellow healthcare workers, and their patients.
Speaker Suzanne Pear commented that ICPs are being confronted daily with unlimited possibilities thats the good news and the bad news. She added, We have an obligation to be the best we can be for our patients, and its a reminder that what we do is critical. Pear also remarked that for the infection prevention field, its the best of times and the worst of times; its the best of times because ICPs are becoming increasingly empowered about their ability to protect patients and healthcare workers, and its the worst of times, because it seems like the infectious threats keep multiplying, as do ICPs responsibilities. But as speaker Beth Young noted, ICPs are like ants they can carry 10 times their weight, they are persistent, they are industrious, they are resilient, and they get the job done, especially through collaboration and teamwork.
If you were unable to join us, you can see what you missed in this issue, with post-event coverage beginning on page 48, brought to you by TVI Corporation.
In this issue we also explore some critical perioperative issues relating to infection prevention, and if youre at the AORN Congress this year, please take a moment to stop by booth #1274 to say hello to the ICT team.
Until next month, bust those bugs!
Kelly M. Pyrek
Group Editor, Medical Division