The COVID-19 pandemic has created a lengthy list of challenges and problems for healthcare facilities managers and their staffs. If there is such a thing as an upside of the last 17 months, it’s the recognition that many environmental services (EVS) workers in hospitals have received.
Many patients are admitted to hospitals because of infectious bacteria and viruses. They are contagious, and their illness can be transmitted to others. Hospitals work hard to contain and eliminate pathogens, but the risk remains. One of the greatest dangers patients face is health care-associated infections (HAIs). Preventing HAIs is a daily battle for both clinical and environmental services EVS staff, according to Health Facilities Management.
While patients are preeminent, the health of hospital employees and guests is also important. For EVS technicians, this is where the concerns of health and safety overlap. Hospital employees and visitors are susceptible to infections, too, so EVS staff are trained to disinfect as well as clean. EVS staff also focus on the safety of others; they must be mindful of slippery surfaces and trip hazards, exposure to chemical products and sharps, and many other dangers associated with cleaning and maintenance.