A Salute to the Top Educators in Infection Control

A Salute to the Top Educators in Infection Control

By Gail Stout

Thinkback about the inspirational teachers who have instilled knowledge in you,enabling you to accomplish more than you could originally do. What made thisperson so special? Why did you follow every bit of information so carefully?Certain qualities make excellent educators stand out from among the crowd.Infection Control Today® seeks out those who shine in the field of infectioncontrol education. As a trade magazine dedicated to those in Central Supply, theOR, and infection control, we decided to honor those educators who make adifference.

In 1999, ICT conducted the first Educator of the Year Program. Any healthcareworker could honor any educator in the field with a nomination for the award.The advisory board of ICT plus the editors all voted on those nominated. Toqualify, a candidate must be degreed in a healthcare-related field, publishedwritten information, have used innovation, had direct classroom experience, hadprevious recognition, had hands-on experience, and showed a background ofassociation participation. We kept the job titles broad--from infection controlcommittee heads to university professors, and then we advertised for nomineesthrough this publication and our Web site. Because the event sponsors haveproven so supportive, one difference between this year's winner and last is thecash award gift to the runner-up as well as to the winner.

Last year Karen K. Hoffmann, RN, MS, CIC, was nominated by her fellow workersand chosen by the advisory board to receive the first Educator of the Yearaward--a cash prize and plaque. Hoffmann is the Associate Director of the StateProgram for Infection Control and Epidemiology and Clinical Instructor for theDivision of Infectious Diseases at the University of South Carolina (UNC) Schoolof Medicine (Chapel Hill, NC).

We chose Susan T. Sebazco, RN, BS, CIC, as the runner-up last year. Sebazcois the Infection Control/Employee Health Director for Arlington Memorial(Arlington, Tex).

This year's winner of the Educator of the Year is Gwen M. Beiningen, RN, MS,CIC. The runner-up is Nancy Fredrich, BSN, RN, CIC.

An Interview with Nancy Fredrich

We asked Nancy Fredrich, RN, BSN, CIC, the Runner-Up, to comment on her workand 20-years experience in infection control for Cooper County Memorial Hospitaland Clinics in Boonslick, Missouri. Fredrich currently serves as the Manager ofCardiac and Pulmonary Rehab, the house-wide staff developer of educationalprograms in Infection Control, and the Infection Control Nurse for the CooperCounty Memorial Hospital and Clinics. She has presented many educationalprograms to businesses, teachers, and daycare centers on the essentials ofinfection control. She has served on several association committees for planningand teaching nurse education classes as well and has consulted with nursinghomes on how to stop the spread of infection.

When asked to comment on her life's work in educating others on infectioncontrol, she responded:

"In my life as a nurse I've had the privilege of living and theaccomplishments I have been allowed are the blessings granted to me by ourheavenly Father. My days at Cooper County Memorial Hospital and Clinics (CCMH),a small, rural hospital, are full of all sorts of challenges. Presently, Imanage all the Infection Control and Education throughout the system, whichincludes a Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, a Home Health, two Rural HealthClinics, Ambulatory/Outpatient Services, Emergency Room, Long-Term Care Unit,and Acute Care.

"Just because we are small does not mean we are exempt from any of therules, regulations, etc. So, much of my day is spent teaching new or reviewingold concepts and techniques.

"Education does not stop here at CCMH and Clinics. I have tried to sharethe experiences and the knowledge I have been blessed with by reviewing booksand videotapes for Mosby Books. I have given presentations on several occasionsfor other Infection Control Practitioners and employee health nurses at variousconferences. Helping to maintain the area Community Training Center (for CPRtraining) in agreement with American Heart Association and offering adulteducation classes at the area Vocational School seems to keep me on the go. Ialso help plan educational offerings for CEUs through the University of Columbiaand through Missouri League of Nursing.

"Also, I work part time as a staff nurse at the University of MissouriHospital and Clinics and in an area nursing home. This helps keep me current onmy own skills, which assists me in being a better teacher. I love nursing andteaching people how to care for others and themselves."

An Interview with Gwen Beiningen

When we interviewed Gwen Beiningen, this year's Educator of the Year Awardwinner, the same modest demeanor could be seen.

"I'm a fairly modest person, so it's difficult for me to talk aboutmyself and what I've accomplished in my career. The reason I got into educationin the first place is that I've lived a fairly privileged life--not as far asfinancial success but in educational support. My folks were high achievers whowere interested in learning and instilled that in me.

"I was also fortunate enough to learn from Lisa Docken, RN, as asupervisor early in my career. She taught me new things about Infection controlthat I hadn't previously known through schooling.

"In my job, I consult with surgical centers, acute care and home care. Iwork with 100 facilities. I consult with non-system facilities. It's in afour-state region: South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska. Each state hasits own set of regulations. I learn something new all the time, especially eachtime I prepare a new presentation."

Beiningen's education in infection control began with her BSN degree fromSouth Dakota State University and continued through her Master's degree focusedin education. At present, Beiningen works as the Infection Control NetworkCoordinator at Sioux Valley Hospitals & Health Systems (SVH&HS) in SiouxFalls, SD. This involves consulting to all healthcare settings within SVH&HSincluding 22 hospitals, 13 nursing homes, 59 clinics, 1 ambulatory center, and14 home care/hospice programs. She provides education to site infection controlprofessionals monthly where system-wide infection control improvement projectsare also created. She develops system-wide hospital and clinic database programsfor comparative analysis of nosocomial infection complications. PresentlyBeiningen is building a similar program for long-term care.

She is also an infection control nurse and the employee health nurse at SiouxValley Hospital. At Sioux Valley Hospital and University Center for InfectionControl, Beiningen participates in the hospital-wide Infection ControlDepartment for a 501-bed JCAHO-accredited acute care facility in a consultativeformat.

Part of Beiningen's remarkable teaching activities involves developing morethan 26 lectures, workshops, in-services and general courses ranging from"AIDS and Hepatitis" to "Surveillance and StatisticalMethods" and many others. She has published 10 articles, posters,brochures, and booklets. Her newsletter articles are distributed throughoutSioux Valley on topics such as Legionellosis and Rotaviris.

Beiningen served as last year's co-chair for the Association forProfessionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology's (APIC's) 2000 annualConference Committee. This year, she is the chair for that same committee.

What Teaching Techniques Work

When asked what teaching techniques worked for her, Beiningen replied,"The technique I use for teaching depends on the setting and the needs ofthose particular students. Lecture is my least favorite method of presentation.I like interactive education. I know that computerized modular programs arepopular, but directly interacting and talking to people one-on-one is the bestway to have them retain what I teach. I find myself in lots of settings,teaching outside a formal classroom. We spend time speaking about the challengesand struggles of professional healthcare delivery. I try to explain whypractices are important. When I have my workshops, that's a different type ofeducation with some lecture and some one-on-one interactive time as well.

"By having a live teacher, students ask the question when it arises,then get an answer right away. If someone has a question and the answer isdelayed, the learner just gives up. There's a natural rhythm/timing foreducation."

There's a method of learning and it's not always the same for everyone.

"I teach Infection Control Practitioners. My education is provided toother infection control professionals, whereas most ICPs provide education tohealthcare workers. It's a different group of people, more specialized in oneparticular area.

"My greatest pride is that I recently worked with six infection controlpractitioners over a year's time on what they need to know for the CertificationBoard for Infection Control (CBIC) exam. Five of them have taken the CBIC andall five have passed. It's an intensive test, and to have a 100% pass mark hasmade me as proud as a peacock.

"When I make a presentation, I use every technique that works. Humorbegins many of my presentations. I have a good joke to start out with or atheme. I play jeopardy now and then. This year's annual educational requirementis based on Family Feud but we call it Species Feud. It's a Power PointPresentation. We go thorough Joint Commission, OSHA, State Health Departmentrequirements and ask questions. One of the questions is, 'Where is the ExposureControl Plan for Bloodborne Pathogens, and why do we have it?' They may not comeup with the response right away. And, it's not OK to not know. This starts adiscussion. We carry on from that point."

In Conclusion

Both winners this year come from rural areas where professional infectioncontrol education may be a challenge. Beiningen and Fredrich treat the challengewith straightforward courage, determination, and a demeanor so modest that theirdelivery could charm any learner. Please congratulate these professionals whenyou meet them; they deserve recognition. Next year, when we once again presentthis award, we look forward to another amazing story of those who have survivedand thrived on the ultimate challenge of teaching infection control principles.

This is a list of nominees for the 2000 Infection Control Today® Educatorof the Year Award. Please congratulate any of these individuals if you are incontact with them.

Melissa L. Buller, RN: Buller is an Education Coordinator and anInfection Control Practitioner at the Ville Platte Medical Center in VillePlatte, Louisiana. She was 1997's Employee of the Year at Ville Platte MedicalCenter and was named the 1998 "Best of the Best" Nurse in EvangelineParish by the Gazette Newspaper.

Joyce M. Closser, RN: Closser is the Infection Control Coordinator atSaint John's Health System in Anderson, Indiana. Closser has worked in InfectionControl for 13 years.

Zorach R. Glaser, PhD, Captain, US Public Health Service (Ret.):Glaser is currently affiliated with the Environmental Health EngineeringDepartment at the School of Public Health at John Hopkins University inBaltimore, Maryland.

Edward L. Goodman, MD: Goodman graduated with an AB and MD fromCornell University and Cornell University Medical College. He is certified bythe American Board of Internal Medicine and holds a Subspecialty certificationin Infectious Diseases.

Verna M. Harrison, MA, BSN, BS, RN: Harrison is the Director ofInfection Control and Epidemiology at St. Barnabas Hospital, St. BarnabasNursing Home, and Union Hospital in Bronx, New York. Harrison is President ofthe local APIC chapter and a member of the New York State Coordinating Counselin Albany, NY.

Kathleen T. Mathers, RN, BSN, CIC, HCRM: Mathers is the Director ofQuality Management at Vencor Hospital, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Mathers is aninstructor at Broward Community College where she teaches OSHA/BBP/TB-HIV/AIDScourses and a course called "Infection Control in Wound Care."

Darlene Dewitt, RN, BS, CIC: Dewitt is currently a practical nursinginstructor for Technology. Dewitt is the current president of EPIC for the stateof Oklahoma, a member of the Oklahoma Infection Control/Employee HealthAssociation and the Association of Operating Room Nurses, and the currenttreasurer of APIC, Oklahoma chapter.

Companies Sponsoring the Award

3M Healthcare
3M has more than 60 subsidiaries throughout the world, more than half ofwhich have laboratory sites. The company's product diversity, storehouse oftechnologies, and relentless pursuit of innovation has made it well known tothose in healthcare. 3M offers in-service CEU programs and provides seminars onon-site and at chapter meetings of professional meetings.

Air Purification Technologies, LLC
Air Purification Technologies, LLC is a designer, distributor and installerof high quality healthcare and institutional indoor air quality engineeredsolutions. AirPureTech(tm) is a technology market leader in contaminationcontrol of infectious and harmful airborne pathogens and is located, inconjunction with an affiliated company, UltraViolet Devices, Inc., in Valencia,California.

Becton Dickinson and Company
Becton Dickinson and Company is a medical technology company thatmanufactures and sells a broad range of supplies, devices and systems for use byhealthcare professionals, medical research institutions, industry and thegeneral public. The company has served healthcare workers, researchers,patients, consumers and our business partners around the world for more than acentury.

Glo Germ
Since 1968 Glo Germ(tm) has provided hospitals, long-term care facilities,food service, day-care, public school systems, clinics and other institutionswith this unique product. Glo Germ(tm) is a product that helps you teachhandwashing, isolation techniques, aseptic techniques and general infectioncontrol. The proven safe inert ingredients in the Glo Germ(tm) lotion or powdercast a revealing glow when exposed to standard UV light.

Healthpoint, Ltd. is the operating company of DFB Holding, Inc.,created to market branded pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter drugs and medicaldevices, particularly in the areas of wound management, skin treatment,infection control, and sterilization. From its first order totaling $168 in1992, Healthpoint sales have doubled each of the first five years.

Microgen Inc.

Microgen Inc. owns the most comprehensive phylogenetic range of substantiatedantimicrobial efficacy in the industry. Its disinfectants and sanitizers areregistered with both the United States EPA and State of California EPA.Microgen's formulations have over 100 efficacy claims ranging from medicallyimportant viruses, bacteria and fungi.