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The changing role of infection prevention practice as documented by the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology practice analysis survey

      Background

      The Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology (CBIC) appointed an advisory committee to conduct a practice analysis (PA) of infection prevention and control professionals to identify current practices in place. The PA was also used to determine the need for an advanced practice examination. Results of the PA would assist in the development of a revised certification examination.

      Methods

      Nine thousand five hundred ninety (9590) e-mail surveys were distributed to infection control professionals (ICPs) in the United States and Canada as well as to a subsample of ICPs in Saudi Arabia. Decision rules and criteria were applied to each identified task in the PA.

      Results

      A total of 1304 responses were available for analysis, representing a response rate of approximately 21.8%. The majority of the respondents was certified in infection control, had a background as a registered nurse, worked in a community hospital, and had from 2 to 6 years experience, a notable change from the 2001 survey. Six major categories with 147 tasks were identified. Based on the 2005 PA results, research tasks were combined with education, which is consistent with the 2001 PA findings.

      Conclusion

      The PA reflects current changes in the practice of infection prevention/control and epidemiology in the United States and Canada. The need for a separate advanced practice examination was not indicated from the survey results. The test specifications accepted for adoption by the CBIC will be used to build all examination forms for the certification program.
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