Hospital environmental services (EVS) technicians face many challenges. Some are obvious, such as the need to clean patient rooms as quickly but thoroughly as possible. Other challenges, however, are subtler and call for a unique skill set that can sometimes go unrewarded, or worse, unrecognized. With this in mind, below are six character traits to look for in new hires and cultivate in your current EVS healthcare team.
1. Dedicated. EVS hospital technicians are in the business of saving lives. They are integral to the fight to prevent healthcare acquired infections (HAIs), which the CDC estimates account for approximately 1.7 million infections and 99,000 associated deaths each year. EVS workers cannot take their responsibility lightly. They must remain dedicated to providing the cleanest, safest healthcare environment possible—every day.
2. Versatile. Healthcare EVS technicians work in an extremely complex environment that includes everything from surgical suites, patient rooms, and trauma centers to cafeterias, lobbies, and office spaces. The condition of these environments changes instantly due to the flux of patients, spills, and contamination. Those in charge of keeping these areas clean, safe, and healthy—EVS technicians—must be flexible, detail-oriented, and extremely competent in various cleaning and disinfecting techniques.
3. Knowledgeable. Leadership and front-line technicians in hospital EVS must have working knowledge in a host of diverse areas, including infection prevention, basic microbiology, cleaning and disinfecting practices, waste-stream management, and sharps handling—to name but a few. So, while most cleaning professionals need to be well versed in floor care and restroom cleaning, EVS technicians also need to know about healthcare-specific issues, everything from identifying clostridium difficile spores to the proper handling of Category A waste.
4. Empathetic. EVS hospital technicians must clean rooms occupied by patients on a daily basis. Many of these patients, adults and children alike, are facing surgeries or other healthcare concerns that make them nervous, scared, and, sometimes, cantankerous. Patients may feel more comfortable talking to someone who is not a doctor or a nurse and will confide in EVS workers who, in turn, must know or be trained in how to respond with respect and empathy. A good EVS team can help increase HCAHPS scores, which account for 25% of a hospital’s Total Performance Score.
5. Adaptable. Innovations in cleaning and disinfecting equipment, processes, and procedures are emerging at breathtaking speed, and nowhere are these changes occurring more rapidly than in the healthcare sector. More environmentally friendly hypochlorous acid solutions and UV light technologies for disinfecting, antimicrobial surface coatings, ionized and energized water formulations, you name it. Hospitals and other healthcare departments are constantly upgrading their cleaning technologies as more effective and/or efficient innovations are developed. EVS technicians must participate in ongoing training to learn new processes and procedures.
6. Communicative. EVS healthcare technicians play a vital role in increasing bed turnover, reducing HAIs, and increasing patient satisfaction and HCAHPS scores. To help the hospital achieve these goals, EVS technicians must coordinate their efforts with the emergency room, nursing, and various other departments. Good communication skills, especially for EVS managers and supervisors, are essential.
Hospital Environmental Services Near Me
Are you interested in finding out if a career in EVS could be right for you? Find out more about environmental services hospital jobs and the opportunity to join the Servicon team at servicon.com/careers. Learn more about what is Hospital Environmental Services.