With only 3 individuals Certified in Infection Control (CIC) in Humboldt County, Michelle Lewis-Lusso, RN BSN CWON CIC, decided it was the right time in her career and for our community to apply for the CIC Certification. Michelle started studying for the rigorous test in February of this year, took the exam on June 26th, and is now Certified in Infection Control. The certification, as its primary purpose, increases the protection of the public by providing knowledge recognized and respected within and outside the field of infection prevention and control. A nurse with a CIC certification specializes in preventing the spread of infectious agents, such as viruses and bacteria. Infection control nurses have a hand in preventing dangerous outbreaks and epidemics. They are experts on practical methods of preventing and controlling the spread of infectious diseases, typically within a specific population—the patients, staff, and visitors at the hospital.
Michelle started her nursing career at Mad River Community Hospital in 1989 after graduating from the Humboldt State University Nursing Program. She then was promoted to house supervisor and in time, co-manager of the Medical Surgical Department. In 1998, Michelle transferred to the Home Health Department of Mad River Hospital helping patients from their homes. Many patients had chronic wounds that were difficult to heal so the Director at Home Health asked Michelle to attend a course to be certified in Wound, Ostomy, and Continence (CWOCN) care. Michelle flew to Texas, and after completing the two month course she became certified.
In 2004, Mad River Community Hospital opened the Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine. Michelle was selected to be the Clinical Coordinator, then the Program Manager for the center due to her extensive experience in nursing and education in wound care. In 2012, the title of Infection Control was added to her duties. She is currently in charge of Infection Prevention and Inpatient Wound Care.
Michelle states that “Being board Certified in Infection Control means that I have the resources, the best practices in place, and the training to do my job. It demonstrates that I am committed to improving the quality of health care. Being certified helps to ensure the quality care that the public expects, demands, and deserves.”
Infection prevention and control practices are important in maintaining a safe environment for patients by reducing the risk of the potential spread of disease from person to person. These practices are designed to reduce the risk of hospital acquired infections and to ensure a safe and healthy hospital environment for patients, healthcare providers and visitors. The initial certification is good for five years after which successful completion of recertification occur at five-year intervals.
Michelle Lewis-Lusso, RN BSN CWON CIC