Two Infection Prevention Coordinators Earn Certification in Infection Control

Tuesday, August 29, 2023
Mario Ramos and Margaret Corona

Mario Ramos and Margaret Corona recently attained their Certification in Infection Control (CIC) from the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology.

About one in 31 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Worldwide, seven out of every 100 patients in acute-care hospitals in high-income countries and 15 patients in low- and middle-income countries will acquire at least one healthcare-associated infection during their hospitalization, according to the World Health Organization. An average of one in every 10 affected patients will die from such an infection.

STHS Is Committed to Infection Prevention

At South Texas Health System, the Valley’s largest integrated network of healthcare, infection prevention staff members work tirelessly to minimize and prevent healthcare-associated infections from occurring; and now two members of the team at South Texas Health System Edinburg have asserted their commitment to that important task.

Margaret Corona and Mario Ramos recently attained their Certification in Infection Control (CIC) from the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology. The credential is awarded to healthcare professionals who demonstrate mastery in their knowledge of infection prevention and control and requires the passing of a certification exam.

Additionally, the certification is granted to individuals who are directly responsible for the infection prevention and control program activities within their current position. As infection prevention coordinators, Corona and Ramos are responsible for working with various hospital departments to ensure patients, visitors and staff are not exposed to an infection or develop one.

“The top 20 hospitals in the United States have infection prevention employees with a certification in infection control,” said Juan Vidal, System Director of Infection Prevention and Epidemiology, STHS. “By achieving this certification, Margaret and Mario have not only achieved their own professional growth, but they’ve helped elevate the reputation and credibility of our department within the healthcare community. More than half (four out of our seven) of our Infection Prevention coordinators at STHS are now board certified.”

For Ramos, the certification is an important step toward the safety of every patient, visitor and staff member at South Texas Health System’s 11 facilities. “We want to keep using the education and best practices we’ve learned in our training to prevent and minimize healthcare-associated infections,” Ramos said.

How You Can Prevent the Spread of Infection

STHS facilities follow infection control protocols to prevent the spread of infection among patients, physicians, staff and visitors, but everyone can play an active role in stopping the spread. The public can help by following these guidelines:

  • If you see any kind of soiling, please tell staff so that they can have it cleaned
  • Do not eat other people’s food and do not share your food with anyone
  • Do not use anyone’s linens or hygiene items
  • Your visitors and family should not visit when they are sick or have an infection
  • If you are in “isolation” please follow the isolation instructions sign posted on your door and ask that all your visitors do the same. Visitors may be required to wear gloves, a gown and a mask.

Washing your hands is the single most important infection control measure that a person can do. Hands should be washed vigorously with soap and water for 15 seconds after using the restroom, before and after eating, after touching an unclean surface and when they are visibly dirty. Additionally, STHS facilities have wall-mounted alcohol-based hand gel dispensers available for all to use.