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ELIH nurse earns prestigious certification in emergency management

An Eastern Long Island Hospital nurse who specializes in emergency management earned a prestigious designation of Certified Healthcare Emergency Professional.

Patricia McArdle, the hospital’s director of infection prevention and control, earned the designation after years of experience in emergency management healthcare and an intensive written exam that covers emergency management, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and pandemics.

There are fewer than 60 medical professional in New York with the certification and about 1,000 nationwide, according to an ELIH press release.

At ELIH, Ms. McArdle is responsible for all aspects of infection control including prevention, surveillance, public education and outbreak investigation. A Cutchogue resident, Ms. McArdle has over 32 years of nursing experience, 25 of those spent in infection prevention and control, and the last 10 years in emergency management.

“I would say the exam was challenging,” she said. “But we definitely gain knowledge over the years doing that kind of roll.”

Ms. McArdle is unique in her role because she has a Master’s of Science in Homeland Security Management and Terrorism from LIU/CW Post. She completed this degree just last May.

“I just kind of morphed into it,” she said. “After 9/11, in about 2004, the state noticed the need that hospitals needed to be prepared.”

She was formerly the emergency management coordinator at Peconic Bay Medical Center.

“Healthcare organizations need professionals that understand how emergency management principles support the healthcare environment of care, the local community and the nation,” chief nursing officer D. Patricia Pispisa said in a press release.

Ms. McArdle has worked at ELIH as a part-time nurse and a consultant since 1999, but started working full time there in November.

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