EUGENE, Ore.—Lane Community College is launching a new, 18-hour rapid certification program to train people as Environmental Services Aides to properly clean and disinfect healthcare facilities. A pilot cohort is training this week and their experience will help refine the curriculum. The first class begins online May 11, with a new cohort beginning every two weeks.
LCC President Margaret Hamilton and Oregon BOLI Commissioner Val Hoyle began discussing the need for a statewide program about a month ago and formed a team to develop curriculum under the leadership of Russ Pierson, dean of the LCC Florence Center. Additional agencies were consulted and expressed their enthusiasm, including the Oregon Hospital Association and Oregon Health & Science University.
“Oregon needs people who can show up at the doorstep of any medical facility in the state already trained in use of PPE, with an understanding of blood borne pathogens, sanitation and disinfection procedures, and with the knowledge to manage the medical waste stream,” said Pierson.
Environmental Aides will be key frontline workers in reducing and recovering from the COVID-19 outbreak in healthcare facilities and hospitals. The course is certified both as a noncredit training course and as a pre-apprenticeship program with the state—providing a clear path forward for students who are looking to jumpstart a career in healthcare.
“This seems to be the right program at the right time as Oregon begins to creep toward whatever the new normal looks like,” said Pierson. “In addition to the healthcare sector, we believe the graduates may also be in demand in the travel and hospitality sector, as restaurants and hotels begin to open and seek to assure their clients, customers and guests that their establishments are safe.”
The course will cover infectious agents; principles of infection control; cleaning vs. disinfection; personal hygiene; using PPE; chemical safety; waste stream; signage; people and roles in a healthcare unit; patients, rooms and high-touch surfaces; safety; risk control; and ergonomics. The training will also include an orientation to the healthcare profession and communications.
The cost is $229 with possible funding for students. For more information or to register, see the Environmental Services Aide page or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Program-specific questions may be addressed to Program Director Kathy Calise at email@example.com.
The course was developed in four-and-one-half weeks, breaking the prior record of seven weeks for a new, noncredit health program.
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Lane Community College educates over 25,000 students annually at six locations across Lane County and online. Students and alumni from all 50 states and 79 countries create more than an $850 million dollar impact on the local economy, helping to support more than 13,000 local jobs. Lane provides affordable, quality, professional technical and college transfer programs; business development and employee training; academic, language and life skills development; and lifelong personal development and enrichment courses.