Quote from rnsm
Will a new grad with 1 year bedside nursing experience would be considered a good candidate for ICP?
What are the steps that I should start taking so that it would be easier for me in the future to get that position?
Also English is my second language..although people usually say that my English is very good..I am kind of self concerned about it...Do we have to do a lot of teaching and stuff in ICP? I enjoy doing paper works and documentation so I am looking for some paper work position.
Our department has 6 ICPs (only 3 are RNs). We are a growing facility and plan to add more ICPs to our team. We don't have a miniumum number of years of bedside nursing experience on our applications we post, but we receive applications from nurses with many, many years of experience. So keep in mind who your competing with. Also, having any amount of nursing knowledge is helpful because we do so much chart-review looking for infections that we have to report. So, those folks on my team that have microbiology/clinical lab backgrounds were at a disadvantage in the beginning had a pretty serious learning curve. But the key thing is to be open to receive training and feedback.
I would suggest looking into your facility's infection control department. Reading through their policy, asking your infection control nurses/personnel if you are able to shadow them on a day off, so that you can get a real picture for what you will be encountering. Showing an interest in infection control at your current facility and being a champion for infection control issues on your unit will help you. Learn about APIC (Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology) and SHEA (Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America). These are 2 organizations that provide a lot of resources for infection control/epidemiology personnel. There are classes you can take to educate yourself on this. Or you may be able to check out an APIC text at a nursing school/med school library. Having an understanding of what IC is and how the facility (to where you plan to apply) conducts their business will put you at an advantage during interviews. Also, if you appply to a facilty and are not familiar with their process you can always say....'I know x,y, z is done where I am currently working; do you have similar processes here?'
I would also read up on CBIC (Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology). You would actually be required to be in a role in which IC is your primary responsibility before you could take the exam and most people are encouraged or even choose to wait about 2 years before taking the exam because of the content and length of time to become comfortable with it. But knowing about the steps to become certified and having a plan in place (like adding it to your 2-3 year goals), will show that you are serious about making a commitment to an ICP position.
As far as teaching goes, I'm not sure there is a position in the nursing profession where teaching is ever 'not done' per se. We do a lot of education at my facility. We are tied to a university, so we are constantly educating new nurses, new docs, seasoned nurses/docs on new/old procedures/policies. We do seasonal education flu season/I volunteer to do immunizations/TB skin tests when they are doing them facility-wide. We do a lot of surveillance cultures/environmental cultures so we do a lot of teaching to patients/family members about out the surveillance we do and why we do it.
I left bedside nursing because I had a baby and the hours for ICP provided my baby girls a better schedule. I am able to wake up with my babies every morning & put them to bed every night. I never expected to be so excited about my move to infection prevention. Of course it was interesting at first, but the more I've learned the more it has just 'sucked me in'!! I really do enjoy it and I think the best part for me are the opportunities to learn more everyday... and knowing that with things always changing, that will never stop. Good luck on your journey to what I'm sure will be a rewarding change in nursing for you!!
Let me know if you have any questions!!