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LCC Offers Rapid Certification Program In Healthcare Sanitation

Lane Community College

As the COVID-19 pandemic ramped into high gear, Oregon hospitals and health facilities came to a troubling realization. There is a shortage of frontline workers trained in sanitation and disinfection. In response, Lane Community College is launching a program to rapidly certify people as Environmental Services Aides.

The 18-hour on-line training will expose students to proper use of personal protective gear, blood bourne pathogens and how to manage the medical waste stream.

“If you are watching an Environmental Services Aide work, it’s going to look a bit like a custodian but it’s so much more than that.”

Russ Pierson is Dean of LCC’s Florence Center. He helped develop the new curriculum.

Credit Russ Pierson
Russ Pierson is Dean of the LCC Florence Center. He led a team to develop curriculum for the new healthcare sanitation and disinfection training program.

“They will understand the difference between just cleaning versus truly disinfecting surfaces,” Pierson explains. “They’ll have an awareness of chemical use. What kinds of chemicals can’t be used, should be used. How to work with patients and how to clean rooms with a lot of high touch surfaces. Risk control, ergonomics, and an understanding of how hospitals and the health profession works generally.”

With so many job losses during the health crisis, Pierson says this certification could be a “leg up” to start a new career.

Classes begin May 11th.

Pierson says healthcare isn’t the only sector in need of trained Environmental Services Aides. As communities begin to creep toward a new normal, he says restaurants and hotels will need to win the hearts and minds of travelers by making sure their establishments are safe and properly disinfected.

The non-credit, health program course is open to anyone. The cost is $229. Pierson says Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) considers this an official pre-apprenticeship program and will make some scholarships available.

The Environmental Services Aide course is currently the only certification program of its kind in the state.

Lane Community College holds the license for KLCC.

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.
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