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The Value of Diversity and Curiosity in Infection Prevention Teams – Erin Beck Wilder

In a recent video interview hosted by Jacob Hutcherson of Clutch Recruitment, the nation’s premier Infection Prevention recruiting agency, Erin Beck Wilder, the System Director of Infection Prevention at Kootenai Health, shared valuable insights into what makes an effective infection prevention team.

Diversity Over Redundancy

Wilder is a staunch advocate for cultivating diverse teams in the realm of infection prevention. In her words, “I don’t see the benefit of having redundant skills.” This perspective is increasingly critical in today’s complex healthcare landscape. Different backgrounds bring varied perspectives, fostering innovative solutions and comprehensive strategies to tackle intricate challenges.

While RNs (Registered Nurses) are often at the forefront of care and have a deep understanding of care delivery, Wilder believes that the realm of infection prevention should not be limited to them. She has seen success in hiring individuals outside of the RN circle, emphasizing the importance of a well-rounded team that incorporates varied experiences and expertise.

Key Traits of an Effective Infection Preventionist

When asked about the qualities she looks for when hiring, Wilder was clear in her priorities:

  1. Curiosity: A natural inquisitiveness is vital. The field of infection prevention is continually evolving, and professionals should have the drive to stay updated and delve deep into emerging issues.
  2. Openness to Feedback: Constructive criticism is a tool for growth. An effective infection preventionist should be receptive to feedback, using it as a stepping stone to refine strategies and improve outcomes.
  3. Admission of Uncertainty: In a field as complex as infection prevention, no one has all the answers. Wilder values individuals who can admit when they’re unsure and take the initiative to seek out the necessary information.
  4. Attention to Detail: Given the stakes in infection prevention, overlooking details can have significant consequences. Detail-oriented individuals ensure that protocols are meticulously followed and that potential issues are identified early.

Wilder’s insights serve as a reminder that while qualifications and titles are important, the core qualities of curiosity, openness, and diligence are what truly set an infection preventionist apart. As healthcare continues to evolve, embracing diversity and fostering these key traits will be pivotal in ensuring that infection prevention teams remain at the forefront of patient safety and care excellence.

For more insights from leaders in the field, stay tuned to the Voice for Infection Prevention.

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