The Journey From Novice To Infection Control Person

Ms Fiona  Hamilton1

1Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District., Wollongong, Australia


It is imperative that all Infection Management and Control Services (IMACS) possess a succession plan and ensure that there is availability of leave relief. This is an account of the process of the evolving role from a Primary Health Nurse (PHN) in the Community to a relieving Infection Control person (ICP) in both acute and non-acute settings.


Reflective practice is a fundamental component of effective personal and professional development. This framework was utilised to identify important aspects of the transition from PHN to an ICP. In addition a qualitative study using semi-structured interviews enabled the exploration of the experience of the ICP’s perspective and thus identified benefits in relation to this transition.


The journey from novice to (ICP) is divided into two distinct phases. The initial phase involves the development and progression of the novice ICP within their current workplace. In addition the second phase involves the crucial mentoring role during the secondment.

Following the secondment, the expert ICP had the opportunity to provide feedback as to the success of the secondment, through the semi-structured interviews. During, and on completion of each secondment the new ICP used reflective practises to discuss the progress of the transition.


By creating opportunities and capitalizing on the individual strengths of the budding ICP, the mentoring process will allow for a solid succession plan and the provision and availability of leave relief. This is vitally important for a healthy Infection and Management and Control team.



Fiona has worked as a Primary Health Nurse in the Illawarra for over 25 years with a background of intensive care nursing. Opportunities have included becoming a LINK nurse, Hand Hygiene auditor then Lead LINK nurse covering a large geographical area within the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District. Several secondments in the Infection Management and Control Service (IMACS) as a CNC 2 have been completed since then.

Fiona now acts as  the Lead and Chair of Standard 3 in the Ambulatory Primary Health Care. The service underwent successful accreditation recently.Standard 3 work commitments continue to be her passion.

Recent Comments