Meet our Group Infection Prevention & Control Nurse, Jenny Garland.
Infection prevention and control has seldom been in the international spotlight as much as in the last 18 months, thanks to COVID. So as International Infection Prevention Week takes place from 17th October this year, we decided to talk to our Group Infection Prevention & Control Nurse, Jenny Garland, to share the work she carries out in the background at Transform.
As Infection Prevention & Control Nurses play a crucial role in monitoring and preventing infection within healthcare settings, Jenny's role is integral to the safety of our colleagues and patients.
Read on to find out how our Q&A with Jenny went.
Tell us a bit about your role, Jenny?
Infection control prevents or stops the spread of infections in healthcare settings. As an Infection Control Nurse, I help ensure best practice so that we can provide excellence of care and a high standard of service to our patients. By maintaining a safe environment for everyone, we’re allowing our patients to put their trust in us.
What attracted you to the job?
I'm passionate about, and interested in, all aspects of infection control. My experience to date, and the interest I have, meant that the role was a perfect fit for me.
Tell us a little about your career to date.
I've had a long career in nursing, starting in 1976 as an enrolled nurse. From there, I worked my way up to my first level registration, before moving on to work in A&E services. After working in A&E for many years, I became the manager of a care home for the elderly. I then had the opportunity to work in Australia. The original plan was to stay there for two years, but that quickly turned into 10!
I was made aware of the vacancy at Transform and applied quickly, as I knew it was a role I would enjoy and could bring my wealth of experience and knowledge.
What are your main responsibilities?
I’m responsible for monitoring and keeping surveillance on all areas of infection prevention and control, so that I can ensure we take the necessary actions if required.
Part of my remit is to provide any advice and guidance my colleagues across all areas of healthcare need regarding infection control. At the moment, I'm reviewing our infection control policies to ensure we continue to adhere to best practice. I've also been on the road recently, arranging audits for infection control around our UK locations. I liaise with our microbiologist regarding any areas of concern within infection control, and set up meetings when appropriate. Within my role as part of the wider Governance team, it’s my job to ensure everyone is up to date with new legislation and the current COVID measures in place to make sure that patients and staff members are kept safe.
What part of your role do you enjoy the most?
I love meeting new people and sharing my knowledge of infection control. Since joining Transform, I've been making great efforts to try and meet everyone personally, at least once! Making regular visits to our clinics and helping us continuously improve is something I'd like to focus on going forward.
How would you describe a typical day for you in 3 words?
Busy, challenging, rewarding.
Why is infection control important?
Infection control is a key aspect of ensuring health and safety, particularly in healthcare settings. It’s crucial that we are vigilant and monitor any potential surgical site infections to prevent their spread. By gathering data, we're able to provide a higher level of safe care and service to our patients. That vigilance means that our patients can trust us and feel confident that we are able to keep them safe.
We’re proactive in our approach to infection, and implement change as required to ensure a safe environment for everyone. Our infection control measures are communicated to our patients to let them know they’re in safe hands (ironically, hand hygiene is a key part of infection control!)
What advice would you give to someone considering a similar role?
Go for it! It's an interesting and diverse job, with plenty of opportunities for further learning. It’s a cliché, but you do get ‘the bug for it!’ The more you know, the more you want to learn.