I have an IA, level 17. I like up close as well, and went operative. I'm taking a DPS tree(forget which one, and work prevents me from bringing up any good sites), so my healing is a little lacking. I can off-heal in a group, but I get right up on my enemies, back stab, stab, stab and paralyze, blaster blaster blaster, flash grenade, back stab, stab, unload....it's a blast.
The way I know my healing is lack luster, I have a level 22 Sith Inquisitor, heal-speced.