So, You Want to be Certified?

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Certified in Infection Control
You Want to be Certified?
Be Prepared!
Beverly Gray, MS, RN, CIC
VANTHCS
Dallas, TX
Certified in Infection Control
It is nothing for one to know something
unless another knows you know it.
Persian Proverb
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Certified in Infection Control
Certification Process
 Educational
and practice requirements
 Exam based on Job Analysis survey
 Designed to demonstrate the basic
knowledge needed and expected for an
Infection Control Professional
 Formally recognizes ICP qualifications
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Certified in Infection Control
Certification Exam
 150
multiple choice questions
 Only one correct choice
 No penalty for wrong answers
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Certified in Infection Control
Certification Exam

Recall (25%)
Recognition of facts, concepts, principles, or
procedures

Application (57%)
Utilization of key elements and relationships
among data to classify, explain, or differentiate

Analysis/evaluation (16%)
Integration of various elements to solve specific
problem situations
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Certified in Infection Control
Are You Ready?
 Motivation
 Tools
 Plan
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Certified in Infection Control
Motivation
When you know what you want, and you
want it badly enough, you'll find a way to
get it .
Jim Rohn
Motivation alone is not enough. If you
have an idiot and you motivate him, now
you have a motivated idiot.
Jim Rohn
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Certified in Infection Control
Tools
 APIC
Text of Infection Control and
Epidemiology
$475 ($375 APIC member price)
 Certification
Study Guide (2003)
$63 ($49 APIC member price)
 Other
Recommended References
(CBIC)
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Certified in Infection Control
Plan
 Target
a date you plan to take the exam
 Give yourself at least 3-6 months of
study, especially for your first
certification exam
 Make a contract with yourself to reach
your goal
 Be realistic and fair to yourself
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Certified in Infection Control
Plan
 Self-assessment
 Focused
study
 Evaluation of Progress
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Certified in Infection Control
Self-Assessment
 Exam
Content:
Infectious disease process (23)
Surveillance and epidemiologic investigation
(34)
Preventing/controlling transmission of
infectious agents (34)
Program management and communication (20)
Education and research (13)
Infection control aspects of employee health
(11)
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Certified in Infection Control
Self-Assessment
 Identify:
areas that you know well
areas that you need to refresh
areas that require the most study
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Certified in Infection Control
Self-Assessment
 Certification
Study Guide:
Review material in outline format
Take sample test questions
Determine which questions you answered
incorrectly or disagree with the answer
provided
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Certified in Infection Control
Focused Study
 Develop
a focused plan of study
Areas for refresher study
Areas for intensive study
 Develop
a timeline for study
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Certified in Infection Control
Focused Study
 Study:
Free from interruptions & distractions
Comfortable
 Adequate
light
 Comfortable temperature
 Large enough desk or table
 Comfortable chair
All study materials available
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Certified in Infection Control
Focused Study
 APIC
Text:
Intensively study in weak areas
Review other material as needed
 Other
resources as needed
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Certified in Infection Control
Focused Study
 Study
Group:
Source of encouragement and motivation
Easier to ask questions in a small group
Members more committed to being
prepared
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Certified in Infection Control
Focused Study
 Find
or Form a Study Group
Search for 3-5 ICPs who:
Are motivated to do well
Understand the subject matter
Dependable
Meet two or three times a week if possible
60 to 90 minutes
meeting place free from distractions
leader for the study sessions
responsible for keeping the group on
task
Plan a schedule of topics for each session
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Certified in Infection Control
Multiple Choice Exams

Have a strategy for taking the test that allows
you to show what you know.
D = Directions
E = Examine
T = Time
E = Easiest
R = Review
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Certified in Infection Control
Multiple Choice Exams
 All
questions consist of:
Stem – statement, question, central
problem or situation
Options – possible answers for the stem.
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Certified in Infection Control
Multiple Choice Exams
 Analyze
the stem of each question:
Focus of the issue or scenario
Key words
Subject and verb (if it is in the stem)
All negatives, superlatives and modifiers
(qualifiers)
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Certified in Infection Control
Multiple Choice Exams
 Try
to answer the question before
reading the choices
 Read all choices carefully
 Eliminate choices you are certain are
not correct
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Certified in Infection Control
Multiple Choice Exams
 Look
for:
 choices that are opposites
 choices that do not agree
grammatically with the stem
 hints about the correct choice from
other items on the exam
 Caution
 “all” or “none”
 “least” or “most”
 “except” or “not”
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Certified in Infection Control
Multiple Choice Exams
 Review:
Completeness
Changing answers improves scores most
of the time
If you really don’t know, guess
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Certified in Infection Control
Sample Questions
Stem:
Which immune marker represents past
exposure to disease?
Choices:
a.
b.
c.
d.
IgG
IgE
IgM
IgA
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Certified in Infection Control
Sample Questions
Stem:
You are called to the ER to talk to an employee
with parotitis. The ER physician has written her
a prescription for antibiotics and asks you if she
can return to work. The employee has no
history of childhood illnesses. Your
Your
recommendation would be:
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Certified in Infection Control
Sample Questions
Choices:
a. The employee may return to work in a nonclinical area.
b. The employee may return to work but not be
around immunocompromised patients.
c. The employee should have serological testing for
mumps and may return to work if the IgM results
are negative.
d. The employee should be off work for at least 2
weeks after onset of the parotitis.
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Certified in Infection Control
Sample Questions
Stem:
Because of an increase in acuity in the
Intensive Care Unit (ICU), the number of
Your VAP
VAP rate
rate has
has
ventilator days has doubled. Your
increased when compared with prior rates.
Your first action would be:
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Certified in Infection Control
Sample Questions
Choices:
a. Communicate the infection rates to the medical
and hospital staff.
b. Continue to collect and trend data.
c. Stratify risk factors; then develop charts and
tables showing infections/acuity rate.
d. Assemble a team to reduce the numbers of VAP.
VAP.
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Certified in Infection Control
Additional Resources
 CBIC
On-line practice exam ($50)
Teleclass (free)
 APIC
National
Local chapters
 TSICP
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Certified in Infection Control
CBIC Online Practice Exam
 Realistic
examination experience
based on current certification examination
content
written in same format
Many questions included on previous
certification exams and modified for
practice
same software program as official exam
 Content
not as broad
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Certified in Infection Control
CBIC Online Practice Exam
 Unlimited
accessions:
24 hours/day,
60 days from time of purchase
May take the test only once
 Report
via e-mail with overall score in
each area
 Ability to review the questions and
explanations
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Certified in Infection Control
CBIC Teleclass
Who's Afraid of the CIC Exam?
April 12, 2007
1:30 - 2:30 pm EST
Shiela MacDonald & Sharon Krystofiek,
CBIC Board
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Certified in Infection Control
APIC Pre-conference
Certification Review Course

2 day review course
 Supplement to personal study
 In-depth overview of major content areas
tested in the Infection Control Certification
Examination
 Review of the basic issues, questions,
practice tests
 June 23-24, 2007
 Early Bird $320, Regular $510 members
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CIC
Celebrate

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