Infection control practitioners (ICPs) investigate infections that are present in patients and staff within hospitals. These practitioners may be registered nurses or microbiologists/technologists as certified by the ASCP. Different hospitals may prefer applicants with different certifications; many ICP positions require applicants who have graduated from an accredited nursing school.
To learn more about particular infections, ICPs sometimes perform surveillance on patients. Therefore, this job can be risky, as it may involve exposure to various pathogens, so it is important to follow all health procedures and company policies. It is also essential to ensure that practitioners within the hospital comply with all health regulatory agency rules and that information regarding illnesses is reported correctly. They may sometimes be required to carry out research and analyses in order to pinpoint the reasons why certain infections are spreading.
Through statistical analyses, ICPs also analyze current infection trends and risks in target populations and develop resulting ideas for control strategies. Usually, these practitioners are involved in risk management programs within their hospitals and may contribute heavily to these programs, as well. They are often required to compile this information into reports, so strong computer skills are highly beneficial. Proficient mathematics and statistics skills are also required in order to perform calculations and develop accurate reports.
Infection Control Practitioner (ICP) Tasks
Conduct research to develop methodologies, instrumentation and procedures for medical application, analyzing and interpreting data and presenting findings.
Plan, administer and evaluate health safety standards and programs to improve public health, conferring with health department, industry personnel and physicians.
Plan and direct studies to investigate disease, preventive methods and treatments.