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Adapting to Solo Leadership in Infection Prevention – Tamara Behm

Tamara Behm, a distinguished figure in the healthcare industry, sheds light on the multifaceted responsibilities that come with the role of an infection prevention director. In a recent interview, she emphasized the comprehensive nature of this position, often misunderstood due to its title.

Reflecting on her experiences, Tamara recounted instances where she held directorial positions in infection prevention, yet the reality of her role transcended the traditional expectations associated with a managerial title. In facilities such as Panorama City, despite being labeled as the director of infection prevention, she was the sole individual managing the entire scope of infection control efforts.

In this role, Tamara was not just overseeing protocols and procedures; she was hands-on with every aspect of infection prevention. From personally conducting daily rounds to meticulously examining each patient to delving into data mining for insights, her responsibilities were all-encompassing. This included managing the entire program independently, ensuring that every corner of the facility adhered to stringent infection control measures.

Her experience wasn’t unique. Even in Hawaii, where she served as a manager under a director, the reality mirrored her Panorama City experience. The managerial title didn’t equate to managing people; it meant overseeing an extensive program that demanded hands-on involvement in all aspects of infection control.

Tamara’s insight highlights the essence of an infection prevention director’s role—it’s not merely about management in the conventional sense but about being prepared to immerse oneself in every facet of infection control. IPs must be ready to perform any task necessary to uphold the highest standards of safety and prevention, irrespective of their title or organizational structure.

Her experiences underscore the need for an infection preventionist to possess a diverse skill set and an unwavering commitment to hands-on involvement. The role demands a proactive approach and a willingness to delve deeply into the day-to-day operations to ensure optimal infection control.

Tamara’s narrative redefines the perception of an infection prevention director, emphasizing that the title doesn’t limit responsibilities to managerial duties; instead, it encompasses a dynamic, comprehensive role crucial to maintaining the highest standards of patient safety and healthcare quality.

Stay tuned for more illuminating insights into the world of infection prevention.

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