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International Infection Preventionist Day is a time to recognize the critical work of infection preventionists and to raise awareness about the importance of infection prevention in protecting public health.
International Infection Preventionist Day is an annual observance on the first Friday in April that celebrates the crucial role of infection preventionists in safeguarding public health. This day is a tribute to the professionals who dedicate their time and effort to minimizing the risk of infections in various settings.
Infection preventionists (IPs) are specialists trained to identify, control, and prevent infections in different environments, such as hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, schools, and workplaces. These experts work tirelessly to ensure that patients, health care providers, and visitors are protected from the spread of infections.
IPs come from various backgrounds, including nursing, public health, laboratory science, and allied health. They are leaders, educators, and collaborators who work with health care providers, policymakers, and the public to promote best practices in infection prevention.
Today, during my conversation with other IPs at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, I reflected with Jenna Rivers, MPH, CPH, CIC; she told Infection Control Today® (ICT®), “Despite the occasional tedium of our job, we must remain committed to continuously exploring innovative approaches to limit infection risks, enhance patient safety, improve outcomes, and support the best-practice of our clinical team members in health care.”
One critical role of IPs is ensuring that health care workers wash their hands regularly. Hand hygiene is essential in preventing the spread of infections, and IPs work to educate health care workers on the proper technique and timing for handwashing.
Other roles include the following:
Overall, IPs play a crucial role in promoting patient safety and preventing infections in health care settings. Their work helps to protect patients and health care workers and ensures that everyone receives safe and effective care.
I also spoke with Garik Nicholson, MPH, CIC, a former epidemiology program manager at the Florida Department of Health and a current infection preventionist at an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center. He stated. “At the end of the day, an effective infection preventionist collaborates well and seeks opportunities for partnerships within the hospital system to protect patients, staff, and visitors.”
For more information regarding the role of infection preventionists and on International Infection Preventionist Day, visit APIC’s website: https://apic.org/celebrate-international-infection-preventionist-day-2023/