The 50-year-old Association for Professionals and Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) gives many tools to aid infection preventionists at any stage of their career with education, networking, and an annual conference.
Marc-Oliver Wright, MT (ASCP), MS, CIC, FAPIC, and Clinical Liaison for PDI Healthcare has wanted to be in the epidemiology/infection control field since he was 16 years old, and he credits the Association for Professionals and Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) for much of his success.
Wright is a longtime APIC member, including as a member of the Board of Directors. In light of the recent Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) 2022 Annual Conference, held June 13-15, 2022, in Indianapolis, Indiana, Wright shares with Infection Control Today® (ICT®), in exclusive interview, his observations about the steps APIC has made to educate infection preventionists by giving them opportunities to learn from each other and generating greater understanding of their critical roles.
“When people first come to infection prevention, you bring that toolkit of your knowledge and experience, but the thing that people don't fully appreciate till they do it is that tool kit is not quite completely full; maybe you've got a hammer, and you've got a Phillips screwdriver, but maybe you don't have a socket wrench,” Wright told ICT®. “You need to learn something new. If you're coming in as a medical technologist or microbiologist, you know the microbes. And if you're coming in as an epidemiologist, you know disease transmission and statistics and rates, but if you've never put it in a peripheral line or a central line or intubated somebody, then you need to learn how that is done. So you build your toolkit up during the early part of your career, and part of that is joining a professional society or professional association, like APIC.”
Wright encourages all IPs to join APIC, and with that membership, to join their local chapter of APIC. The benefits are immeasurable as Wright described, “You get immersed in the field of infection prevention and control. And the nice part about that is that it gives you a chance to develop your own knowledge and expertise as you go along. Shortly after I started in infection prevention, it was just the very beginning of using informatics and analytics and surveillance technology. And for some reason I gleaned onto that early on, and that was a new and emerging field in infection prevention. So if it's a new field, and you're a new IP, and suddenly you're learning at a pace that's different than your colleagues, then you become a valuable member of an association where everybody else needs to learn about this topic.”
In the second part of this video series, Wright describes in further detail how APIC continues to give IPs opportunities to learn from each other, the journals that APIC publishes, and how APIC generates greater understanding of the IPs critical role.