The overall objectives for implementing an infection control program are to make hospital personnel aware of nosocomial infections and to educate these persons in their role in decreasing the risk of these infections. The infection control practitioner (ICP) implements these objectives by performing surveillance to determine problem areas and by developing policies and procedures that prevent and control nosocomial infections. Appropriate qualities for an ICP include initiative, leadership, communication skills, commitment, and charisma. Expertise in patient care practices, aseptic principles, sterilization practices, education, research, epidemiology, microbiology, infectious diseases, and psychology are acquired skills.
Local, state, and national organizations, as well as universities, are responsible for ICP training. In the US the Centers for Disease Control have established a training program for the beginning ICP and the Association of Practitioners in Infection Control (APIC) has developed a study guide for developing infection control skills. The ultimate responsibility for education is an individual obligation, however. Certification of the ICP would insure a minimum level of knowledge, thereby standardizing and upgrading the practice of infection control.