Making Infection Prevention Everyone’s Business
Sonya Kay Ehrhardt, RN, BSN, CIC
The Reg Med Ctr Orangeburg Calhoun Co.
As a seasoned infection control professional, Sonya Kay Ehrhardt has instituted a sharps safety program, provided in-service training on hand hygiene to all employees in her facility, and established a close working relationship with the microbiology department. With these programs and several others that Sonya initiated at the Regional Medical Center in Orangeburg, South Carolina, the hospital refined and upgraded its patient safety and healthcare worker safety. The sharps safety program included in-service training for staff, including physicians, on using safety needles, scalpels and blood collection devices, which are now standard throughout the hospital. This program sent a clear message to the facility’s healthcare employees that their safety is as important to the hospital administration as the patients’ safety. For developing and implementing this successful program, Sonya was named the Sharps Safety Diamond Award winner.