Our Stories

Reducing Risks by Increasing Her Knowledge

Goodman learned to fight infection through education

Rachel Goodman
Infection Preventionist, Tennessee Hospital Association

Vanderbilt MM Health Care 2013

With hospitals being more accountable for quality than ever before, reducing infection risk is a bottom-line issue for health care operators. So it made business sense for NorthCrest Medical Center to draw upon Rachel Goodman’s experience as a lab-based microbiologist when creating the position of Infection Preventionist in 2012.

“Since I don’t have a nursing background, I utilize the experienced nursing staff to help identify potential infection risks and participate in process improvement plans,” Rachel explains. “I educate staff, patients, and family regarding hand hygiene, resistant organisms, and all things infection control. I eliminate potential infection risks to improve patient safety and outcomes.”

Given the importance of this role, the hospital’s CEO approached Rachel with an opportunity to pursue an MMHC degree at Vanderbilt. “To me, it was a no-brainer,” Rachel says. “I knew what the program and this institution could do for my career.”

Along with what she learned about health care management in the classroom, Rachel learned from her classmates. “The mix of disciplines is unique,” she says. “Each student adds a different perspective, and I have gained insights from all of my classmates.” Because she went through the program with a cohort of fellow staff members at NorthCrest, she adds, “I don’t know if I can describe the bond we now share as a group.

“[The program] was challenging, mostly due to the juggling act of working a full-time job and being a full-time mom, wife, and a full-time student, but I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

The program was challenging, but I would do it again in a heartbeat.