Linda Feola & Theresa Lampkins

Change agents

Linda Feola

Linda Feola, RN, BSN, MS, CIC & Theresa Lampkins, RN, CIC
St. Rose Dominican Hospital
Henderson, NV

Both Linda and Theresa Lampkins have worked at St. Rose Dominican Hospital in Henderson, Nevada, sharing two campuses that have racked up impressive figures in their “Target Zero” campaign to keep down ventilator-associated pneumonias (VAPs) in their ICUs of both campuses. Both infection preventionists (IPs) achieved their “zero” goal. Not surprisingly, both are winners of the March of Dimes Nurse of the Year in Infection Control and Employee Health for the western region of California, Nevada and Arizona. Linda won the award for 2005; Theresa won it for 2004.

Linda openly admits to loving every minute of the 30 years she has spent as an IP. She’s been a BSN for 41years overall; most of that time dealing with infection prevention.

Calling the profession “much more exciting than it used to be,” Linda explained that when infection prevention was a part of her other nursing positions, “the whole idea of an infection control person being a practitioner was a prevalent idea.”

“However, I don’t think the larger of the public understands what an infection preventionist does,” she added. “With everyone being so involved and concerned with the issue of infection, the actual persona of the IP is beginning to rise out of the ashes. The IP is a persona with regard to patient safety that can only become more of a public knowledge as time goes on. The only place this profession can go is up.”

“I’m in favor of seeing the profession become more publicized…let the public know we exist. The public that doesn’t know about us doesn’t have a negative image of us—they simply have no knowledge of who we are,” she said. “Infection prevention is a function of an organization that hasn’t been in the public eye until lately. Lots of people haven’t been exposed to the concept of what we are and what we do in the way of patient safety.”

In that regard, Linda spends a lot of her time educating nurses at the campus for which she’s responsible. She participates in all APIC chapter meetings and has been invited to speak to the Medical Surgical Nurses Organization on the topic of bloodstream infections.