Q&A with a CAIP Certificant: Amanda Hawkins of Surgery Center of Charleston

Amanda Hawkins, BSN, RN, CASC, CAIP, is the director of the Surgery Center of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina, which is affiliated with Charleston ENT and Allergy. She graduated from nursing school in 2000. Hawkins has been with the Surgery Center of Charleston for nine years. She serves on ASCA’s strategic planning committee and South Carolina Ambulatory Surgery Center Association’s education committee and is the secretary on the executive committee for South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control Lowcountry Emergency Preparedness.

Q: Why did you pursue the CAIP credential?

Amanda Hawkins: The CAIP credential is the first opportunity for ASCs to show we have the knowledge, training and expertise in infection prevention. As infection control officers of our surgery centers, it is our responsibility to follow Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and state regulations and accrediting body guidelines to provide the highest quality care to patients. Being able to demonstrate our understanding of this role shows we are dedicated leaders in ambulatory surgery infection prevention.

Q: Why choose to take the first CAIP exam?

AH: I wanted to take the first exam to prove our center is committed to an exceptional infection control program. CMS places high priority on infection prevention in an ASC. To keep ASC infection rates lower than hospitals, we need to improve and increase our knowledge whenever it is available.

Q: How do you think earning and maintaining the credential will benefit you and your ASC?

AH: I always try to be on the forefront of any new skills or knowledge that can help our practice. I am committed to helping our center remain current on best practices in infection prevention. We can now demonstrate our organization’s understanding of the skills and knowledge of an ASC infection preventionist. The credentials allow us to comply and remain ahead of regulatory standards. Also, why not obtain the credential before it becomes mandatory?

Q: What advice would you give to those individuals who are considering pursuing CAIP?

AH: If you’re thinking about it, do it! You have the knowledge. You live it day in and day out. Why not set your center apart from the norm? The CAIP credential is our new standard. You can finally say what type of training you have specific to ambulatory surgery. You will be a Certified Ambulatory Infection Preventionist!

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