Section 2: Infection Prevention Specialist Job Description - Wyoming Department of Health (2023)

Baerbel Merrill, MS, BSN, CIC og Deborah F. Wilson, MS, RN, CIC
October 2014

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Upon completion of this section, the Infection Prevention (IP) Specialist will be able to:

(Video) Infection Control

  • Create, implement and evaluate a job description for IP
  • Use the infection prevention principles outlined in the job description when developing education and training programs
  • Explain the understanding of the statement of authority in the job description so that the IP can act independently in emergency situations that require immediate action

number of hours

  • Key concepts - 2 hours
  • Methods - 2 hours


The IP is the key person in the infection prevention team and in most cases is designated as the person responsible for the program. The IP is responsible for disseminating information on infection prevention, including surveillance data and policy decisions. IP usually comes from nursing, but IP can come from other disciplines such as medical technology, microbiology and public health. The IB should have a working knowledge of the IB job description and should make recommendations to the administration about changes as the profession evolves.

Key ideas

The IP is responsible for the effective management, governance and operation of the infection prevention program, including training of facility staff and independent physicians and consultation with county and state health departments. IP uses evidence-based practices such as those published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, IP ensures compliance with the regulations and requirements of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), The Joint Commission (TJC), other healthcare accrediting organizations and state regulations.

Infection prevention:The IP is responsible for the facility's efforts to prevent Healthcare-Associated Infection (HAI) by ensuring containment of sources of infection to reduce the spread of infectious organisms. IP systematically collects, analyzes and interprets health data to plan, implement, evaluate and communicate appropriate public health practices. IP conducts education and training activities for health professionals by instructing and disseminating information about health practices.

Chores:The IP is responsible for implementing and reviewing the facility's infection prevention program. IP ensures that existing standards and guidelines from relevant professional organizations and regulatory and public authorities are incorporated into the program. The IP reviews relevant public health issues for incorporation into practice, acts as a consultant and facilitator on infection prevention issues for all facility staff, liaises with other health professionals inside and outside the facility, and implements infection prevention education programs. IP systematically collects and analyzes data on healthcare-associated infections by applying epidemiological principles and statistical methods to identify trends and risk factors. In addition, the IP is often responsible for reporting HAI and qualitative data for various reporting requirements at the facility, county, state, and federal levels. IP implements the principles of tax liability and promotes the standards of advanced professional practice.

Chores:The IP conducts rounds, discusses and monitors infection prevention practices with staff members, collects infection data from departments, maintains records of each case of HCAI, investigates outbreaks, trains staff to implement infection prevention practices, investigates infection cases and reports such incidents to the appropriate person/department and ensures that the necessary materials for preventive action are available. In particular, the IP is responsible for:

  • 24/7 infection prevention and control recommendations
  • Advise all staff on handling infectious patients/residents and other infection prevention issues
  • Coordinate the annual infection control risk assessment in conjunction with the Infection Prevention and Control Committee (IPC) (see the IPOM sections on Leadership and Committee Membership [#4] and Construction and Renovation [#14] for more information).
  • Development and implementation of an annual infection prevention plan in collaboration with IPC
  • Evaluation of the annual target fulfillment plan in collaboration with IPC
  • Perform infection surveillance (see section on IPOM surveillance [#5] for more information)
  • Ensuring completion of audits within the implementation and compliance of selected policies
  • Provide education and training for all staff and independent practitioners on HAI prevention
  • Contact the employed health nurse about important health issues for the staff
  • Collaboration with clinical teams in development of standards, audits and research
  • Submission/delivery of the annual IPC Infection Prevention Report to Quality Assurance, Executive Director and Board of Directors (depending on institution); this report is intended to cover the results of the infection prevention program and the issues of concern
  • Cooperation with the county and state sanitary inspection in the reporting of infectious and contagious diseases

Skills:The IP must be a highly energetic individual who demonstrates a willingness to develop and implement an infection prevention and control program. The IP is able to plan and conduct training seminars and exercises and has a working knowledge of nursing practice and theory. The IP must have excellent written and verbal communication skills, demonstrate leadership and creativity, possess time management skills, and have extensive presentation experience. The intellectual property should be adaptable and flexible to meet a wide range of service needs. A typical IP position requires:

  1. move throughout the organization
  2. lift up to 20 pounds
  3. sat for a long time

Education:The very successful Privacy has the following education:

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  • BSc in Applied Clinical Science (Nursing, Medical Technology, Microbiology, Public Health)
  • Five years of relevant clinical experience for non-nursing applicants; Registered nurses must have a wide range of experience, including critical care, emergency medicine, and medical/surgical nursing.
  • A master's degree in nursing, epidemiology, public health or a related field is helpful
  • A current professional license issued by the State of Wyoming, if applicable to the primary discipline
  • Infection Control Certification (CIC) should be obtained within two years for this position
  • Previous teaching, curriculum development and teaching experience is desirable
  • Członkostwo w APIC (Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology) lub SHEA (Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America)
    • Attending face-to-face and/or completing online educational offerings (sponsored by APIC, SHEA, or State Departments of Health

Other demands: The IP address must allow:

  • Read, analyze and interpret contracts, technical procedures and/or government regulations
  • Demonstrate proficiency in computer and software skills
  • Writing reports and other forms of correspondence
  • Provide verbal and/or written information and respond to the most sensitive inquiries or complaints
  • Apply mathematical concepts such as fractions, percentages, ratios and proportions to practical situations
  • Work with mathematical concepts such as probability and statistical tools for analysis and problem solving
  • Create and interpret various charts and graphs to present them in an understandable format
  • Reasoning, defining problems, gathering data, establishing facts and drawing conclusions
  • Interpret instructions given in written, verbal, schematic and schematic formats
  • Apply the principles of logical and/or scientific thinking to a wide range of intellectual and practical problems
  • interpret non-verbal symbolism (formulas, scientific equations, graphs)
  • Use information management systems to:
    • Data entry and download
    • Data collection and organization
    • Data analysis and evaluation
    • Reporting required
    • Integration of different data sources
  • interpret Wyoming Department of Health standards, CMS Terms of Participation (COP), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards, CDC website information, and medical/legal concepts for medical data
  • Complete data entry into the National Health Safety Network (NHSN) on time
  • Apply knowledge and skills in quality improvement tools and techniques, including statistical process control
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The IP is responsible for:

  • Establishing, implementing, and administering goals, objectives, policies, and procedures for the infection prevention program
  • Conducting ongoing review of hospital policies, procedures and guidelines to identify inconsistencies in infection prevention and make corrections as needed
  • Ensure that the objectives of the infection prevention program align with and reinforce the facility's mission, vision, values ​​and strategic plan
  • Communicating information to facility committees and department managers to formulate changes in policies, procedures and/or processes that may reduce the spread of infection
  • Interact with medical and nursing staff, department managers, supervisors and health professionals (work environment) and other professional/non-professional staff to provide information on resources, address infection prevention and control issues and identify new opportunities to improve services and reduce costs.
  • Work with department managers to maintain effective policies and procedures for departments and facilities that ensure compliance with TJC, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), CDC, CMS and other local, county, state and federal regulatory agencies and/or accreditation
  • Preparation of reports and statistics for the IPC, Medical Staff Committee, Executive Medical Committee and facility administration and other committees as required
  • Development and coordination of a facility-wide infection prevention program; implement the program by formulating, establishing and evaluating policies and procedures related to patient care and infection prevention measures throughout the facility, clinics and all other projects operated and/or owned by the organization
  • Conducting an annual risk assessment and developing action plans based on previous years' activities, which may include developing a dashboard to store monthly data
  • Preparation of recommendations for construction and renovation projects and participation in all Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) and environmental rounds activities; this includes ensuring compliance with national and/or professional standards
  • Work with worker health in monitoring work-related exposures
  • Develop and update a plan to control exposure to bloodborne pathogens
  • Review the elements of the facility's infection prevention and control program to include:
    • Terms and procedures
    • Program supervision
    • Observation activities
      • Process supervision
      • Results monitoring
    • Antibiotics contained in the facility's formulary
    • Antibiogram review of objects' resistance pattern over time
    • Laboratorieprocesser inklusive Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC)
  • Conducting outbreak investigations, which includes knowing what an outbreak is
  • Wyoming Department of Health ReviewNotifiable diseases and conditionsrequirements and ensure their fulfillment

Documentation and reporting

IP will be monthly:

  • Update the log of all HAIs
  • Se alle laboratorieresultater for Multi Drug Resistant Organism (MDRO).
  • Entering data into the NHSN reporting system in accordance with the facility's reporting plan:
    • identified surgical cases
    • infection at the surgical site
    • MDRO
    • CAUTI (catheter-related urinary tract infection)
    • Clostridium difficile infections (whole facility)
    • CLABSI (central line-associated bloodstream infection)
  • Entering data into the NHSH reporting system on employee influenza vaccination status
  • Compliance with rules and precautions for hand hygiene; this information is verified with the heads of clinical departments
  • Ensure that all infectious diseases are reported to the appropriate county and state health department personnel
  • Submit all relevant data to designated committees (see section on IPOM Management and Committee Membership [#4] for more details)
  • Work with IPC to review national data on healthcare-associated infections, review facility data and set goals for reducing healthcare-associated infections
  • Data analysis:
    • number of infections per risk group
    • frequency of infection over time
    • HAI metrics and graphs from NHSN output

Other duties

IP must start and/or continue:

  • Development of strategies for program development/implementation and how IP oversight will emphasize prevention and management of HAIs
  • Reviewing the facility's TB screening program, handling exposure and ensuring follow-up of cases in accordance with state requirements
  • Review of food safety rules and procedures in collaboration with a nutritionist
  • Review of the facility's pest control program
  • Review of the facility's hazardous waste disposal program


Useful/related reading
  • Bennett G, Morrell G and Green L, eds. Handbook of Infection Prevention for Hospitals; revised edition. Rome, GA: ICP Associates, Inc.; 2010. Part 1: pages 12-17.
  • Bennett G. Ambulatory Infection Prevention Handbook. Rome, GA: ICP Associates Inc.; 2009. Section 1: pages 8-13.
  • Bennett G and Kassai M. Infection prevention manual for ambulatory surgical centers. Rome, GA: ICP Associates, Inc.; 2011. Section 1: pages 13-19.
  • Bennett G. Handbook of Infection Prevention in Long Term Care. Rom, GA: ICP Associates, Inc.; 2012. Afsnit 1: side 13-19.
  • Bloom's taxonomy. Available Accessed 20 February 2014.
  • Murphy D, Hanchett M, Olmsted RN et al. Competence in infection prevention: a conceptual approach to guide current and future practice.American Journal of Infection Control2012; volume 40, booklet 4, pages 296-303.
  • Lautenback E, Malani PN, Woeltje KF. Practical hospital epidemiology: and introduction. I: E Lautenbach, KF Woeltje and P.N. Malani, ed.SHEA Practical Healthcare Epidemiology (3r & DEditing). . . . Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press; 2010: s. 3-6.
  • Schweon S, Burdsall D, Hanchett M i in.Guidelines for the prevention of long-term care. Washington, DC: Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc.; 2013.
    • Kapitel 1, Understanding Infection Prevention in Long Term Care af D. Patterson Burdall
    • Chapter 3, Infection Prevention and Control Programs, M Hanchett and P Rosenbaum
Useful contacts (in WY or USA)
  • Cody Loveland, MPH, Infectious Disease Surveillance Epidemiologist and HAI Prevention Coordinator, Wyoming Department of Health, 307-777-8634,
  • Baerbel Merrill, MS, BSN, CIC 307-689-3942,
  • Deborah F. Wilson, MS, RN, CIC, Infektionsforebyggelse/MDRO-koordinator, Cheyenne VA Medical Center,, 307-778-7550, ext. 7091
Related Sites/Organizations
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Section 2: Infection Prevention Specialist Job Description - Wyoming Department of Health? ›

Duties: The IP conducts rounds, discusses and monitors infection prevention practices with staff members, collects infection data from departments, maintains records for each case of healthcare- associated infection, conducts outbreak investigation, trains staff members on implementation of infection prevention ...

What does an infection prevention specialist do? ›

They reduce the spread of disease by collecting and analyzing data on healthcare-associated infections, identifying outbreaks, and using appropriate prevention strategies to prevent and control further spread. Infection prevention specialists are like disease detectives for specific settings such as hospitals.

What are the roles and responsibilities of IPC? ›

infection control practitioner (ICP) is typically a registered nurse, physician, epidemiologist, or medical technologist who: helps to prevent healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) by isolating sources of infections and limiting their spread; systematically collects, analyzes and interprets health data in order to plan ...

What are two 2 of your areas of responsibility in infection prevention? ›

Strategies include hand hygiene, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and appropriate handling and disposal of sharps. These are a first-line approach to infection prevention and control in health service organisations and are routinely applied as an essential strategy for minimising the spread of infections.

What is the role and responsibilities of the infection prevention and control Committee in a healthcare organization? ›

The infection control committee functions to prevent and control healthcare-associated infections by setting infection control policy and monitoring practices to reduce these risks. Preventing healthcare-associated infections has become highly technical.

Can you be an infection preventionist without being a nurse? ›

IPs come from a variety of backgrounds – many have training as nurses, epidemiologists, public health professionals, microbiologists, lab technicians, or doctors.

What should be the qualifications of the infection preventionist? ›

To become an infection preventionist, you typically need to be a registered nurse or have a background in epidemiology or microbiology. Some infection preventionists have advanced qualifications, such as a master's degree in public health or epidemiology. If you are a nurse, you must be certified to work in your state.

What are the 5 infection prevention principles? ›

  • Hand Hygiene. Hand hygiene is the most important measure to prevent the spread of infections among patients and DHCP. ...
  • Respiratory Hygiene/Cough Etiquette. ...
  • Sharps Safety. ...
  • Safe Injection Practices. ...
  • Sterilization and Disinfection of Patient-Care Items and Devices.

Who is responsible for infection prevention in the workplace? ›

Employers are obliged under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 to provide a safe workplace for their employees, including the provision of adequate infection control procedures and the right equipment and training.

What are the core activities of an IPC program? ›

  • Core Practices.
  • Disinfection and sterilization.
  • Environmental infection control.
  • Hand hygiene.
  • Isolation precautions.
  • Multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO)
  • Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI)
  • Intravascular catheter-related infection (BSI)

What are the three pillars of infection prevention and control? ›

Pillar 1 consists of hand hygiene; Pillar 2 cleaning and disinfection of the environment and reprocessing of reusable medical devices and Pillar 3 consist of transmission- based precautions (see Annex 1) including appropriate isolation and ventilation facilities when indicated.

What are the two key administrative recommendation for an infection prevention program? ›

Administrative Measures and Infection Prevention Education...
  • Develop and maintain infection prevention and occupational health programs.
  • Provide supplies necessary for adherence to Standard Precautions (e.g., hand hygiene products, safer devices to reduce percutaneous injuries, personal protective equipment).

How hard is CIC exam? ›

How difficult is the CIC exam? The exam is considered to be difficult, with a pass rate of only 57.6%.

Can a LPN be an Infection Preventionist? ›

Infection Preventionist RN or LPN

Collects infection data, maintains records for each case of healthcare- associated infection. Investigates incidents of infections and reports such incidents to the appropriate person/department, and…

What is the difference between an epidemiologist and an Infection Preventionist? ›

Infection preventionists are trained healthcare professionals who research, identify, and control new or existing diseases impacting the healthcare system. Epidemiologists focus on disease prevention through the lens of public health.

What is the ratio of Infection Preventionist to bed? ›

Notably, the nationally recommended staffing level for IPs is between 1 IP to 70 inpatient beds and 1 IP to 100 inpatient beds.

What should be the qualifications of the Infection Preventionist based on 483.80 B? ›

  • §483.80(b)(1) Have primary professional training in nursing, medical technology, microbiology, epidemiology, or other related field;
  • §483.80(b)(2) Be qualified by education, training, experience or certification;
  • §483.80(b)(3) Work at least part-time at the facility; and.

What is the most common method to prevent infection? ›

Proper hand washing is the most effective way to prevent the spread of infections in hospitals. If you are a patient, don't be afraid to remind friends, family and health care providers to wash their hands before getting close to you.

What are the 10 principles of infection prevention? ›

There are 10 elements of SICPs:
  • patient placement/assessment of infection risk.
  • hand hygiene.
  • respiratory and cough hygiene.
  • personal protective equipment.
  • safe management of the care environment.
  • safe management of care equipment.
  • safe management of healthcare linen.
  • safe management of blood and body fluids.

What are the six requirements of infection called? ›

The six links include: the infectious agent, reservoir, portal of exit, mode of transmission, portal of entry, and susceptible host. The way to stop germs from spreading is by interrupting this chain at any link.

What is an ideal quality in an IPC leader? ›

Distinguishing features of successful IPC leaders included: good communication skills and powers of persuasion, ability to focus on overcoming barriers to IPC and to deal directly with staff and/or processes that hindered implementation of IPC policies and guidelines.

Who is ultimately responsible for infection control? ›

Ultimately, the responsibility lies with you--the provider--to know infection-control principles and practice good habits.

Do you need to change gloves if you are caring for a single patient? ›

Gloves should be changed: Between episodes of care for different patients, to prevent transmission of microorganisms. During the care of a single patient, to prevent cross-transmission of body sites.

What is the overview of infection prevention and control? ›

Overview: Infection prevention and control (IPC) is an applied discipline that affects all patient care activities in healthcare settings. IPC, including prevention of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), is an essential component of healthcare quality and patient safety.

What is an IPC project? ›

Integrated Project Control (IPC) is the systematic integration of customer requirements, supplier-management values, and status information from all data sources in compatible form for rational decision-making.

What are the main components of the infection control program? ›

The cornerstone of all IPC programs is hand hygiene. Washing stations with water, soap, clean towels and alcohol based hand rub should be available in key areas such as toilets and at the point of care. Standards for water quality, sanitation and environmental health should be implemented.

What are the 4 types of infections? ›

Infectious diseases can be viral, bacterial, parasitic or fungal infections. There's also a rare group of infectious diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs).

What are the 3 main sources of infection? ›

How Infections Spread
  • Source: Places where infectious agents (germs) live (e.g., sinks, surfaces, human skin)
  • Susceptible Person with a way for germs to enter the body.
  • Transmission: a way germs are moved to the susceptible person.

What are the two main types of infection precautions? ›

There are 2 tiers of recommended precautions to prevent the spread of infections in healthcare settings: Standard Precautions and Transmission-Based Precautions.

What is the best way to control the spread of infection list 2 examples? ›

Prevent the spread of infectious disease
  • Immunise against infectious diseases.
  • Wash and dry your hands regularly and well.
  • Stay at home if you are sick.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Clean surfaces regularly.
  • Ventilate your home.
  • Prepare food safely.
  • Practise safe sex.
Apr 5, 2022

What are the two most important objectives of infection control? ›

They: stop the chain of infection. reduce the need for antimicrobials, such as antibiotics.

What are the 5 National Patient Safety Goals to prevent hospital acquired infections? ›

This is done to make sure that each patient gets the correct medicine and treatment.
  • Identify patients correctly.
  • Prevent infection.
  • Improve staff communication.
  • Identify patient safety risks.
  • Prevent mistakes in surgery.
  • Use medicines safely.
  • Use alarms safely.

What skills do you need to be a prevention specialist? ›

What are the most important Prevention Specialist job skills to have on my resume? The most common important skills required by employers are Social Worker, Public Health, Communication Skills, Interventional, Collaboration, Behavior Analysis and Instruction.

What is the top priority of infection preventionists? ›

Hand hygiene is the best way to prevent the spread of infection. Make sure that everyone around you, including your healthcare providers and visitors, clean their hands. If you don't see that person washing their hands or using an alcohol based hand-rub, don't feel bad about Page 2 asking them to do so.

What is the role of a prevention specialist? ›

Prevention specialists narrow their focus to a social service field such as child welfare, mental health, behavioral health, infectious diseases, or substance abuse. As a prevention specialist, you lead prevention education programs, advising individuals, families, and groups on risk reduction strategies.

What is the job description for a prevention coordinator? ›

Under direction, plan, organize, direct and supervise the work of one or more units that provide treatment, interventions, case management, and prevention strategies carried out by Recovery Support Coordinators, Prevention Coordinators, and their support staff; performs complex casework in the areas of mental illness, ...

What does a prevention coordinator do? ›

The Prevention Coordinator ensures all staff implementing prevention programming are appropriately trained and supported in their activities and manages the administrative aspects of program coordination.

What are the three levels of infection prevention? ›

They are sanitation, disinfection, and sterilization.

What is the ratio of infection preventionist to bed? ›

Notably, the nationally recommended staffing level for IPs is between 1 IP to 70 inpatient beds and 1 IP to 100 inpatient beds.

What is the single most important infection prevention procedure? ›

Hand hygiene is the most important measure to prevent the spread of infections among patients and DHCP.


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