What is your current role?
I am Federico Tabios Jr, and I’m currently working as a matron for infection prevention and control at Evelina London.
How long have you been in the infection control team?
Originally from the Philippines, I have been a registered nurse for 28 years (23 years in the UK), and I’ve been working in infection control at Evelina London since September 2017.
What is infection control and why is it important?
Although lots of effort is made to keep healthcare environments clean, it is quite challenging to make sure that infections do not spread because children have less developed immune systems than adults. The conditions, procedures and treatments that some of our patients have mean they are at higher risk of contracting infections.
Evelina London has systems in place to protect patients from getting infections while they are being cared for by our teams. Infection control measures like washing our hands, using personal protective equipment (PPE) and making sure that all patient environments and shared equipment are cleaned properly help to keep everyone safe.
It is really important that we protect everyone from infections so our patients don't become sicker or have to stay longer at our hospital. Our teams work together to prevent this problem, and it is my role to encourage them as much as possible.
What made you interested in working as a nurse in infection control?
I’ve always had a passion for promoting patient safety. In 2007, I joined the team at Central Manchester University Hospital. After that, I was given the opportunity to work in other infection control teams at North Middlesex University Hospital, King’s College Hospital and at Guy’s and St Thomas’.
I have been an infection prevention and control (IPC) nurse for 17 years. The world of IPC is challenging but at the same time exciting. I love the responsibility that the role gives me. I promote patient and staff safety, deliver teaching sessions, mentor clinical staff and manage any outbreaks (i.e. norovirus).
The greatest challenge for IPC this year was the COVID-19 pandemic. Putting in place effective IPC measures was vital to limit the spread of the disease. We've had to make sure that patients, staff and visitors remained safe.
No person should be harmed by a preventable infection, so it is essential for all staff – both clinical and non-clinical – to embrace IPC.
What’s it like to work at Evelina London?
I find working at Evelina London just brilliant!
Working in a hospital with a good reputation, nationally and internationally in service and patient care, and having the opportunity to be working with healthcare professionals who are experts in their respective fields makes me so excited, and through IPC I can contribute excellence in the service.
Being part of the BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) and LGBT+ communities, Evelina London has a very good programme for equality and diversity. It promotes the importance of equality and diversity in the workplace, protecting everyone from discrimination and making sure all staff are involved in decision-making. I am proud that Evelina London launched the NHS Rainbow Badge initiative, which promotes a message of inclusivity, and is an institution which is open and non-judgemental.
And lastly, Evelina London was very supportive when I applied for the Nightingale Nurse Award, named in honour of pioneering nurse Florence Nightingale. To receive the award, nurses and midwives have to provide evidence from our managers and peers for our outstanding practice and how we demonstrate the Trust’s values. We also need to complete a programme of academic work accredited by King’s College London.
Tell us one fun fact about your job...
Working at our hospital is not just delivering IPC, it also means re-exploring the fun of childhood! The building itself has a very child-friendly feel. It is wonderful to see children playing while they are waiting. Before the pandemic, we also had lots of fun visitors, from Pudsey Bear to Hollywood stars, and Disney characters to members of the Royal family!
What has been your proudest moment?
I would say my proudest moments are when I see a child, who has been hospitalised for many months, discharged without getting any preventable infections.
I am also very happy when staff really embrace IPC.
The basics of IPC are critical and include simple hand hygiene, making sure your arms are bare below the elbow (without wrist watches for example), adherence to appropriate PPE and cleaning shared equipment.
Some staff might think that I’m very strict about IPC compliance, but I need to be as an advocate of patient safety. IPC is a collaborative effort and is important for all of our staff, whether they are clinical or non-clinical.
Being part of Evelina London means…
I would say Evelina London has given me a platform to grow and enhance my knowledge and skills. I have really enjoyed the chance to work with children and young people. I love working in a diverse and inclusive environment that really embraces who I am.
Thank you to the children and young people who have so brilliantly illustrated our blog pages.