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Gaining Respect as a Infection Prevention Leader – Tamara Behm

Tamara Behm, an interim director of infection prevention with Kaiser Permanente, shares a profound message during her discussion with Jacob Hutcherson, Founder and CEO of Clutch Recruitment. She emphasizes that in the realm of infection prevention, it’s not the title one holds, but the knowledge, confidence, and preparation brought into discussions that command respect and enable meaningful action.

Tamara reflects on her extensive experience mentoring infection preventionists over the last decade. She acknowledges the critical role of a facility’s culture in empowering or impeding infection preventionists in their mission to ensure patient safety. A supportive culture, she implies, enables IPs to influence positive changes irrespective of their titles, while an unsupportive one can stifle even the most earnest efforts.

Her advice to infection preventionists facing such cultural roadblocks is bold and clear: consider moving to a facility where the culture aligns with the core mission of infection prevention. This counsel underscores the paramount importance of fostering a culture that values patient safety and actively supports the professionals dedicated to this cause.

Tamara’s insights highlight a larger narrative within healthcare, advocating for a paradigm where efficacy and a conducive organizational culture trump hierarchical titles in promoting a safer healthcare environment.

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