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Continuing to have an Impact on the Infection Prevention Industry – Chris Zirges

In an invigorating discussion for Voice for Infection Prevention, Chris Zirges DNP, ACSN-BC, CIC, FAPIC, the System Director of Infection Prevention at SSM Health, delved into her passion for advancing the competency and multidimensional roles of Infection Preventionists (IPs) with host Jacob Hutcherson, the founder and CEO of Clutch Recruitment. Her narrative unveils a rich tapestry of opportunities awaiting IPs beyond the conventional clinical ladder, emphasizing the value of professional development and cross-industry engagement.

Zirges, with her significant role in the professional development committee of the national Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), is poised to step into the chairperson position in 2024. This position not only affords her a platform to influence the future role of IPs but also to engage with a diverse group of astute committee members, mutually enriching their vision for the profession.

Her excitement resonates as she talks about the unconventional and exhilarating prospects they are exploring for IPs, transcending the traditional clinical boundaries. Zirges also underscores the importance of leveraging IPs’ unique expertise in broader committees and platforms, appreciating their comprehensive understanding of healthcare settings, “from the basement to the rooftops.”

Venturing beyond healthcare, Zirges shares her experience on boards of directors, which has opened a reciprocal learning channel between her and professionals from other industries. This cross-industry interaction not only enhances her skillset but provides a conduit for other industry leaders to glean insights from the realm of infection prevention.

Her dialogue with Hutcherson sheds light on the potential of IPs to transcend traditional roles, contributing their expertise in broader organizational and cross-industry domains. The engaging narrative of Zirges encapsulates a forward-thinking approach to professional development in infection prevention. It paints a promising picture of what the future could hold for IPs who are eager to extend their impact beyond conventional boundaries, offering a stimulating narrative for IPs looking to broaden their horizons, enhance their competencies, and contribute to a wider spectrum of professional and societal realms.

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