Infection Preventionist

Keep infection from spreading within a healthcare facility.
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Quick Stats


Outlook
Very Good

Salary Range
$44,000 – $95,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Infection Preventionists do?

Hospitals and medical clinics are often teeming with germs. While many of these microscopic organisms are relatively harmless, others can multiply like wildfire if they’re left unchecked, and this germ-fest can wreak havoc on the reputation of the facility and the staff that works there.

An Infection Preventionist monitors the place for germs, cracks down on them, and trains staff on germ safety. The work an Infection Preventionist does can keep an entire population safe.

As an Infection Preventionist, you’re required to scour the facility’s records for mention of disease or infection. Doctors may write notes in charts about suspicious cases they’ve treated, or Nurses may spy strange symptoms in people who come to visit patients. When you see these notes, you follow up and ask to run more tests or get more information, so you can confirm that an outbreak is in progress.

Major problems must be reported to the county health agency or federal health officials, but common issues can be solved through training. You hold classes to teach the staff how to prevent the spread of disease, and you print flyers and hang them around the facility to teach random visitors how to protect themselves and the ones they’ve come to see.

The facility you work for likely has a printed manual that you follow regarding these inspections, control measures, and classes. The rules may change from time to time, so you stay up to date by reading manuals and following news reports carefully. In addition, you document every step you take so you can demonstrate your strict conformance to the rules when asked.


Should I be an Infection Preventionist?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.

  • How to become an Infection Preventionist

    Most Infection Preventionists have an Associate's degree. Chart?chd=s:bd9caa&chl=no+college+%282%25%29|certificate+%284%25%29|associate%27s+%2864%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2829%25%29|master%27s+%281%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,2,64
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