What are Environmental Services in Health Care
Environmental services (EVS) health care personnel are tasked with helping to stop healthcare-associated infections from spreading. They work with colleagues to prioritize areas that pose immediate health risks, following the appropriate guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting along the way. Environmental service personnel, including many of the individuals who work for and with Corvus Janitorial Systems, have an important role to play in the prevention and minimization of healthcare-associated infections. They help keep medical professionals like doctors, nurses, and assistants safe. And they help protect patients, loved ones, and other visitors, as well.
Where Environmental Services are Prioritized
EVS is important in any setting where infections may linger and spread. Among others, this includes:
· Outpatient clinics
· Surgical centers
· Walk-in treatment centers
· Primary care doctors’ offices
· Senior centers
· Obstetricians’ offices
These are the places where infections collect, and with near-constant traffic, it can be difficult to keep them properly cleaned and sanitized without professional help. Focused on sanitation, EVS team members clean the patients’ rooms, waiting areas, procedural rooms, surgical suites, and other areas where germs may linger and easily spread. Environmental service positions are the primary defense against serious infections that tend to linger on high-touch surfaces throughout different medical facilities.
Other Locations and Areas Where Environmental Services are Useful
Environmental services are particularly useful in health care and medical settings, especially when the world is battling a deadly pandemic. But these incredibly valuable services have been around long before we faced our first shutdown. And they’ve been used successfully in other areas, too. A few other uses for environmental services:
· The hospitality industry
· Schools and daycares
· Office buildings
· Production factories
· Food manufacturers
· Community cleanup
· Disposal services
A career in environmental services offers many different meaningful pathways. But one that focuses on healthcare and improves the lives of medical professionals, first responders, and vulnerable patients may be the most rewarding. And the availability of environmental service hospital jobs is projected to continue increasing for the foreseeable future.
Environmental Services Tasks
Each visit might be different depending on the type of facility and their needs. But many healthcare facilities need the same thing: regular deep cleanings and high-level sanitation. Because many infections spread easily and quickly, healthcare facilities require a higher level of care and greater attention to detail. Some of the most common environmental services tasks in healthcare settings might include:
· Regularly mopping, vacuuming, and sweeping all of the floors
· Washing the windows and dusting the furniture
· Washing and replacing bed linens
· Properly disposing of waste and other hazardous materials
· Emptying trash cans and restocking supplies
· Disinfecting the rooms, equipment, and supplies with high-level sanitizers
During COVID, these services might be more intensive or scheduled more regularly. They might also set limitations that didn’t exist before, like requiring that you come to clean and sanitize the facility at night while patients are sleeping, on the weekends, or on a holiday. Health care doesn’t take days off. While a job in health care environmental services can be challenging, it is also incredibly and uniquely rewarding.
Electrostatic Spraying in Health Care Settings
One high-level sanitation method that is particularly useful in health care environments is electrostatic spraying. This powerful disinfecting technique is often used to promote health and safety in sensitive or high-traffic spaces, like hospitals and airports. Electrostatic spraying works by applying a positive electric charge to a liquid disinfectant. The resulting spray reaches its target almost instantly and sticks to it. This type of treatment is highly useful in risky and highly populated settings because it offers a deeper and more efficient and effective clean.
And because it is a fine spray instead of a concentrated wipe or a cloth, it makes it easier to target hard-to-reach or otherwise difficult spaces, like the tiles tucked in the back corners of bathrooms, high supply closet shelves, and various other surfaces. An environmental services provider with electrostatic spraying equipment can achieve 360-degree coverage of any area they need to treat. So not only are the high-touch surfaces better targeted and disinfected, but the corners, nooks, and hard-to-reach crannies won’t be missed either.
Requirements for EVS Personnel in Health Care Settings
During and after COVID, the operators of health care facilities might be stricter with their guidelines for how environmental services are performed. For example, they might require that anyone in the building wear sanitary clothing or disposable isolation gowns, masks, goggles, or face shields, gloves, and other protective gear. EVS is, essentially, the first defense against infection control. As such, they’ll have stricter guidelines to adhere to than janitorial service providers in other settings might.
As a general rule, environmental service providers in health care facilities might also be required to sanitize their hands both when they enter and leave exam rooms. When patients are discharged or moved to different rooms, EVS health care providers will clean and sanitize each surface to prepare for the next patient. As the patients are moved around, there might be some overlap, and EVS providers should remember to respect the patients’ privacy. It is an EVS provider’s job to help patients feel safe when they are at their most vulnerable. Be compassionate, respectful, and kind if you do interact with any of the patients during your work.
Corvus Janitorial Systems
If you are a professional looking to start your career in environmental services or you’re an owner or operator of a health care facility, reach out today to see how we can help. For our franchisees, we offer training, support, and numerous other business-building advantages. For our clients, we provide high-level and reliable cleaning and sanitizing services. We offer peace of mind where and when you need it most.
Our high-quality services, proven systems, and dedicated teams are all here to ensure that we contribute positively to the lives of our clients, their employees, patients, and loved ones, and the community at large. Contact us today to request a free quote.