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Patti Grant, RN, BSN, MS, CIC, director of Infection Prevention and Quality at Methodist Hospital for Surgery in Addison, TX, has been elected the 2013 president of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). Excited to take a leadership role in an organization she has long admired, Grant answered a few questions for Hospital Infection Control & Prevention, where she is better known as to readers through her popular IP Newbie column for new practitioners and mentors. Here is an excerpt from an interview that will appears in our February 2013 issue.
HIC: What major challenges to you see facing APIC and infection preventionists in general?
Grant: “The focus for me — and it’s something that can’t really be done in one year — is to help the general public know that infection preventionists exist. I really worry when the general public is looking for answers about infections and they see ‘professionals’ in our title — they quickly think that we are not for a resource or advocate for them. I think we are losing a lot of the audience that we could be using as a resource. I actually envision a day when the general public asks, ‘How many IPs do you have in this facility? Are they certified?’ The public is demanding excellent surgeons, safe medication administration and credible nursing staffs. Now they need to know that IPs exist. Really, until those that are outside of health care, regulatory and accreditation bodies demand our presence in facilities, I don’t see us being able to serve our customers in the fight against infections to our full potential. The resources won’t be there.”