4 things to know about the infection prevention profession

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Infection preventionists play a critically important role in healthcare, but their profession is somewhat of a mystery to most.

"Despite increasing recognition of the importance of infection prevention, relatively little is known about contemporary IP practice," said Timothy Landers, PhD, RN, chair of the research committee with APIC. "To provide resources to support IPs and identify future directions for infection prevention, APIC felt it was critical to understand IPs' current practice environments."

The organization surveyed 4,078 APIC members in 2015 and published preliminary results from the survey in the American Journal of Infection Control in February.

Here are four things to know about infection preventionists, pulled from the APIC survey.

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1. Most (66.2 percent) infection preventionists work in acute care hospitals. The rest work in long-term care facilities, outpatient settings, ambulatory care or other settings.

2. Surveillance and investigation account for 25.4 percent of infection preventionists' time. IPs also spend time on prevention and control of transmission (15.6 percent), identification of infection (14.2 percent) and management and communication (12.2 percent), among other activities.

3. Nearly half of survey participants (43 percent) were certified in infection prevention and control. Several other participants (37.7 percent) said they were not currently certified but plan to sit for certification in the future.

4. Respondents with current infection prevention and control certification made more money than those without ($85,911 versus $68,817).

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