New IC/IP nurse here. Help!

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    Through a series of fortunate events, I have been hired (internal transfer) as our Hospital's new IC/IP Nurse. As is the case at many hospitals, there is only one, and after a series of people who retired after 2-3 years, the hospital decided to "grow you own". So I have very very little experience. (about 6 classes at the Masters Level in Public Health) They will be sending me to a "parent" hospital for 2-3 weeks of training and also to the APIC classes. Management has been very supportive so far, but I am just a little bit nervous about the transition from plain old staff RN to this. Suddenly, in about 18 days I will have an OFFICE, and quite a lot of different responsibilities. I can see so many challenges, including how to establish a day to day routine.

    Any tips/ tricks/resources for me? I am so excited about this opportunity, and I can not wait to get started and learn and grow, but at the same time, I am a little, just slightly terrified. Even just the change from 3 12 hr shifts to the 8-5 work day...will be new. Thanks!
  2. 6 Comments so far...

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    I'm a pre-nursing student, so I have no advice for you career-wise, but congratulations on your new position! It does sound exciting, although, given your new responsibilities, I understand why you'd feel a bit nervous. I have a BS in micro and an MPH (concentration: infectious disease epi), so I'm interested in any responses you receive.

    Again, congratulations! Do your best to keep your eyes & ears open, learn as much as you can, and I'm sure it will all fall into place.
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    Congratulations! If you are truely interested in the IC position then you will excel. Do your own research and use evidence-based practices to solve problems. Always abide by the guidelines that govern your hospitals location. Network with others in your area that are employed in similar positions. Undertake further education in IC and management. Above all use common sense! Good luck!
  5. 0
    Welcome to the wonderful and everchanging world of Infection Prevention! One of the best resourses is the APIC listserv...tons of advice and discussions regarding all aspects of infection prevention.
    I remember when I started as the IP nurse...as soon as the title went on, folks assumed I was an expert...not so! Lots of internet searches, reading, consulting guidelines, and in general lead me to an area of comfort. IP is challenging to the brain.
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    I would have to agree with JHagens... APIC is a huge resource. I am new to IC myself & am lucky to have 3 other ICPs & lab personnel at my hosptial to work with to help train/teach me. I couldn't imagine doing this all by myself! Once you do your APIC membership, you will get emails from their network that has discussion boards. It seems like everyone is so helpful and posts replies that you would have lots of suggestions for any questions that you may have.

    I would also suggest partnering with your local health department. When I worked at the health department I worked with some IC nurses that were "it" for their hopsital. There is alot that is expected from them as far as communicating reportable diseases, exposures, etc. So, if you find a contact in the health department's epidmieology division that may help you understand their expectations and ease the transition from that aspect.

    Good luck!!

    ...and as much as I loved the 12 hour shifts... 8-5 with no holidays (atleast thats what we work) is not too shabby! !
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    THanks Smilingbig!!!

    Wwe work with Vigilanz and it flags EVERYTHING under the sun that is reportable, and pretty much details what to report. so the Health Department gets what it needs almost automatically.

    My biggest struggle is getting people to understand what it is I do! Everyone sees one bit of it and assumes then that the one bit is all I do all day long...

    Luckily while i am new to IC, I am not new to the hospital, so I already have connections, except for that Labor and Delivery area....I keep forgetting about it! (Lucky for me they don't really have infections at the moment...)
    I love being in regular clothing and the 8 hr work day...we'll see how I feel in a few weeks. APIC class in October!
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    As a nursing student I had an internship in IP. And I have to say, being an IP nurse is rewarding and a learning experience.

    APIC like previous posts is a great resource--also there will be an APIC conference later this year! Be sure to sign up for that!

    Be sure to understand hospitals policies/procedures of isolation precautions and understand possible sources of surgical site infections. You will review a micro line list everyday-- so refreshing in microbiology is important--understand organisms!!!

    You will be going through lists of microorganisms if a person is recently infected and may need to report through National Healthcare Safety Network as needed. Also, surveillance rounds are crucial, especially since transmission of infections can be easily transmitted through hands.. so stay vigilant and be creative when introducing frontline staff with new ideas to adhere to protocol!

    GOOD LUCK AS AN IP RN! You will love it!


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