LUMBERTON — Sherry Edwards recently became the first nurse in Southeastern Health’s history to be certified in infection control and epidemiology.
Edwards, who has been with Southeastern Health since 1993, passed her exam from the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, a national organization that is the leading provider of professional certification for infection prevention and control. According to the CBIC, Edwards is currently the only nurse living in Robeson County with this certification.
In order to apply to sit for the board exam, an applicant must be a registered nurse and have at least two years of experience in infection prevention.
Edwards, who holds a bachelor’s degree in Nursing, joined the Infection Prevention and Control Department in 2009 after working in several other areas at SRMC.
“It felt wonderful to pass the exam because I had studied very hard,” Edwards said. “It feels good to say Southeastern Health now has a certified infection preventionist. Studying for my certification gave me a better understanding of the best practices in keeping patients safe and taught me more about research.”
Infection preventionists look for patterns of infection within facilities and then identify and investigate resistant organisms and outbreaks, collaborating with public health agencies to find the source of dangerous pathogens. They work to make sure patients don’t acquire infections from healthcare treatment. They educate and collaborate with their fellow hospital employees to make sure best practices are implemented and followed.
“Most of the healthcare associated infections in the United States are preventable,” Edwards said. “But we can’t prevent infection without infection preventionists.”