After many years in a different field, Anina Carpenter, BSN, MSN, RN, IP, made the decision to become a nurse. She now serves as the Manager of Infection Control at Southwest General Health Center.
Returning to college in 2005 as a non-traditional student was both unsettling and exciting. After personally experiencing some medical issues, the compassion of my nurses is what made me want to change careers and become a nurse. Hanging up my hat on an 18-year accounting career, my nursing career started out in an Orthopedic-Neurology surgical unit. Shortly afterwards I moved to the Department of Surgery, and while working there, a surgical quality position became available, for which I applied. During this time, I found my passion for quality and infection control. Wanting to continue on the journey of infection control, I moved to the hospital Quality Department as an Infection Preventionist (IP) and have recently completed my MSN in Infection Prevention & Control.
Why do I love the role of an Infection Preventionist? As a bedside nurse, I felt I was only taking care of the patient and his or her family. However, when I was in the hospital, I saw so many other disciplines--for example, case management, housekeeping, dietary, physicians. The role of an IP is to stop the spread of infection not only to our patients, but to our employees and visitors as well. In my current role, I have the opportunity to perform surveillance, report data, write policy and guidelines, educate patients, visitors, and staff, coordinate with local health authorities, and work with members in the community. Southwest General is a safe environment for all patients, visitors, and staff as a direct result of my role.
Thank you Southwest General Health Center for allowing me to do what I love every day.