The Hidden Health Care Workers Keeping Hospitals Safe

Meet the Infection Preventionists at the Front Lines of the Pandemic Battle

You’re usually still a little groggy when your pager goes off. You jolt out of bed, unsure what’s going to come next. Getting awakened for work at 2 a.m. is never fun or easy—but you’re the on-call infection preventionist. Infections don’t know the time of day, and ensuring patient safety is a round-the-clock job.

At large academic medical centers—like UCLA Health, where we work—infection preventionists, or IPs for short, keep patients and healthcare workers from catching and spreading communicable diseases. We come from a variety of backgrounds. Some of …