Balancing Act: Insights From an Infection Preventionist, Mother, and Volunteer

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Jill E. Holdsworth, MS, CIC, FAPIC, NREMT, CRCST, prevention manager, discusses the challenges of balancing work, family, and volunteering, emphasizing the importance of prioritizing self-care and personal interests.

Juggling the demanding role of an infection preventionist, which can be both strenuous and stressful, while also managing a family requires maintaining mental balance. In an effort to understand how to navigate these challenges, Infection Control Today® (ICT®) sought insights from someone experienced in this delicate balancing act.

Jill E. Holdsworth, MS, CIC, FAPIC, NREMT, CRCST, and her son.  (Photo courtesy of Jill E. Holdsworth)

Jill E. Holdsworth, MS, CIC, FAPIC, NREMT, CRCST, and her son.

(Photo courtesy of Jill E. Holdsworth)

Jill E. Holdsworth, MS, CIC, FAPIC, NREMT, CRCST, is the infection prevention manager at Emory University Hospital Midtown in Atlanta, Georgia. She is the Protective Barriers Committee cochair for the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) and the 2022 Certification Council Chairman at the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA). She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). Holdsworth is also a certified emergency medical technician (EMT) and a volunteer EMT with the Emory Emergency Medical Service program in Atlanta. She is a wife and mother to 2 young boys.

Jill E. Holdsworth and her sons  (Photo courtesy of Jill E. Holdsworth)

Jill E. Holdsworth and her sons

(Photo courtesy of Jill E. Holdsworth)

During her chat with ICT, Holdsworth also discusses how important it is for her to spend time with her husband and children. “I also want to be able to spend time with them at home and working with [my boys] on their homework doing sixth-grade math, which is really hard. I didn’t know that I was going to survive fourth or fifth-grade math,” she laughs. “It's so different going home and being the mom again because the stuff that we deal with at work is really hard. But the elementary school math has been even harder than anything I do here. But something I learned during COVID-19 was [that] I was missing a lot of family time because we were fielding calls and pages all day long. And this became a 24/7 job for almost 3 years. I had to do a reset and realize what I needed to fuel my fire to fill my cup, and I didn't want to keep missing things with my family and with my kids.”

Holdsworth shares with ICT’s listeners the importance of prioritizing family and personal interests while managing a demanding career. She emphasizes the need for open communication with supervisors about personal priorities, encouraging working parents, including fathers, to advocate for family needs.

Jill E. Holdsworth with her husband and sons.  (Photo courtesy of Jill E. Holdsworth)

Jill E. Holdsworth with her husband and sons.

(Photo courtesy of Jill E. Holdsworth)

Amidst the challenges of balancing work and family, Holdsworth reiterates her commitment to self-care and rediscovering interests during the COVID-19 pandemic. She details her involvement with EMS services, expressing the fulfillment it brings despite the challenges of night shifts. Additionally, she volunteers for organizations like AAMI and APIC, contributing to her profession and finding joy in sharing knowledge with those around her and through her writing.

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