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Environmental Services Staff Receives Training and Certification

June 25, 2018

Photo 1: Community Hospital’s Environmental Services staff recently completing the Certified Healthcare Environmental Services Technician (CHEST) from trainers Dan Curtis, Supervisor and Stacey Aguilar, Director; includes employees: Maria High, Chynna Younger Lopez, Sonja Chavoya (left to right back row) Pilar Eason, Monica Macfee, Shirley Johnson (left to right front row). Not pictured is Dana Chambers, Nicetas Eilenberger and Barb Lauer.

Photo 2: Community Hospital Environmental Services employees, Sonja Chavoya and Chynna Younger Lopez, recently completed Certified Surgical Cleaning Technician courses and are waiting to sit for their exam. The CSCT course is 16 hours in length and focuses on five core domains.

McCook, Nebraska—Community Hospital Environmental Services leaders, Dan Curtis, supervisor and Stacey Aguilar, director, became trainers at the end of last year for both the Certified Healthcare Environmental Services Technician (CHEST) and Certified Surgical Cleaning Technician (CSCT) courses. These courses are offered through the Association of the Healthcare Environment (AHE). In February they started Community Hospital’s first CHEST course with nine attendees from their staff.

CHEST Certification training is comprised of 24 hours of classroom instruction. The content is based on seven domains: Infection Prevention, Cleaning and Disinfecting, Communication, Safety, Waste Handling, Linen Handling, and Floor Care. These domains are covered in a series of ten modules which are built around the typical day in the life of an environmental services technician. These modules include: Infection Prevention and Control, Assignments with Supervisor and Other Staff, Cart Setup and Handling Chemicals, Occupied Room #1, Unoccupied Discharge or Transfer Room, Isolation Room, Occupied Room #2, Common Areas, Specialty Areas, Uncommon Situations, Wrap up and Review, and Additional Practice. Each Module has its own set of distinct learning objectives. Upon completion of the course staff is then eligible to test for certification. The CHEST online exam consists of 50 multiple choice questions which is proctored and timed.

“We are very proud to announce that the following staff all passed the certification test and now carry the CHEST title,” Stacey said: Shirley Johnson, Nicetas Eilenberger, Monica Macfee, Dana Chambers, Barb Lauer, Maria High, Pilar Eason, Chynna Younger Lopez and Sonja Chavoya.

Community Hospital employs 18 environmental employees who clean 150,000 square feet daily including the hospital, McCook Clinic, Medical Specialists Center, Rehabilitation Center, Patient Accounts Building and four apartments used for healthcare students and residents.

Certified Surgical Cleaning Technician Course

Shortly after the CHEST class was started, the department also started its first Certified Surgical Cleaning Technician (CSCT) course. The first class had two staff as only those environmental services employees who work in surgery will take this course.

This program sets a national standard and level of practice for surgical cleaning and disinfection. It is designed to set a level of expertise for managing pathogens and practicing innovative techniques specific to the operating room. Through this program, AHE seeks to ensure surgical cleaning staff is highly skilled and fully prepared for their expanded role in the surgical environment. The CSCT course is 16 hours in length and focuses on five core domains: Infection Prevention, Cleaning and Disinfection, Problem Solving, Communication, and Impacts and Outcomes. Upon successful completion of the program, staff will sit for the online certification exam which is proctored and timed.

Currently Sonja Chavoya and Chynna Lopez Younger have completed the course and are waiting to sit for the exam. Once they have passed the course they will hold the title CSCT.

“Our future plans include having the rest of our Environmental Services staff complete the CHEST course,” Stacey said. “This will include our staff that cleans at McCook Clinic, Specialty Clinic, Rehab Center, and our floor tech. We feel the class holds valuable information they can all learn from. We will also hold an additional CSCT course for the rest of our staff who work in surgery to get the CSCT certification,” she added.

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