COMMUNITY VACCINE CLINIC VOLUNTEER ORIENTATION
The privacy of our patients is of utmost concern. It is the responsibility of everyone to protect the privacy of patients and their families. Maine law has strict requirements to maintain patient privacy and the confidentiality of health information. The federal law HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)
will preempt Maine law only when HIPAA creates a stricter standard.
stands for protected health information
. It is any identifiable health information held by Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center including oral, written, or electronic communication. Volunteers sometimes have access to PHI but only the minimum amount necessary to perform duties.
HIPAA requires that the Medical Center establish “reasonable safeguards” to protect privacy such as:
- Never discuss or a patient’s name or illness outside of your volunteer duties; never discuss a patient or patient information in any area of the hospital, except to the staff involved with the patient’s care and never where the conversation could be overheard.
- Never look at a patient’s records or ask questions about a patient’s treatment unless it is part of your volunteer responsibility.
- Never leave identifiable information (including lists of names) unattended; never leave computer monitors with patient information exposed on them.
- Always respect a fellow volunteer’s right to privacy and confidentiality should s/he become a patient at the Medical Center.
If you inadvertently cause a breach of confidentiality, report it to your Volunteer Leader. Self-reporting is the best idea. It will not be a violation if reasonable safeguards were in place and the disclosure resulted from a legitimate use of that information (i.e. need to know for your duties). Hefty monetary fines and criminal penalties can be imposed on an individual and an organization for “wrongful disclosure”.
All hospital employees and volunteers are responsible for patient safety. The health, safety and wellbeing of patients are the primary concern of all workers. Never attempt to exceed your responsibilities, abilities, and training. Understand your assignment. Knowing what not to do is as important as knowing what to do.
Volunteers are not permitted to provide physical assistance to a patient getting in or out of a wheelchair or a bed
. Never change a patient’s bed position, move a patient, lower bed rails, or give a patient anything to eat or drink, including water, without the nurse’s permission.
Cell phones must be turned off completely while volunteering
. If you need to place a call or check messages, appropriate areas include the cafeteria, lobby, and volunteer office.
Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is a fragrance free zone
. Please abide by our customer service and safety standards by avoiding use of fragranced substances, including any type of cigarettes, during your hours at the Medical Center (volunteering, meetings, WorkHealth appointments, etc.).
If you have an accident involving exposure to a patient’s blood or body fluid, receive a puncture wound or other injury which breaks the skin, notify your supervisor and WorkHealth (staff will help you with this process). After office hours, report to the Nursing Supervisor’s office by dialing “0” on any in-house phone. A confidential Incident Report must be filled out. If you are seen in Emergency, you may follow up with WorkHealth on the next business day.
Report any accident/injury (other than an Infection Control exposure) occurring to you while you are on duty to the supervisor in your assigned area and to Volunteer Services. You may be seen in the Emergency Department. You and your supervisor will need to fill out a confidential Incident Report within 24-48 hours.
General infection control guidelines are to protect volunteers from acquiring or transmitting infections or communicable disease. Volunteers must practice good personal hygiene, i.e. clean uniforms and shoes, neat hairstyles, no ornate jewelry, no chipped nail polish and be free of infection or communicable diseases.
Infections can and do occur among patients and staff. The single most effective method of preventing infection
is to wash your hands
(if your hands are visibly soiled, use soap and water, otherwise you may use hand sanitizer). All volunteers are required to comply with the Medical Center’s hand hygiene competency policy.
When to wash hands:
- Upon arriving to volunteer
- Before and after touching patient/patient’s belongings
- After using toilet, coughing or sneezing
- Before entering and exiting a patient’s room
- Before you leave the hospital
Never use a patient’s bathroom to wash your hands. Waterless alcohol sanitizer is available in all patient rooms mounted on the wall. Remember to cough or sneeze into your clothes
and not your hand.
are used in the care of all patients, regardless of diagnosis. To maintain Standard Precautions never put your bare hands on anything that was or is wet, especially in a patient care area. You will be instructed when it may be necessary to wear gloves.
Influenza Virus Transmission Prevention
includes Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center’s recommendation to all healthcare providers, including volunteers, to receive seasonal vaccination annually. Those who have been vaccinated will receive stickers to place on their badges, indicating they have received the vaccine. Healthcare providers who choose not to receive the vaccine are required to wear a mask while volunteering during flu season except when eating or drinking.
COVID-19 Pandemic Transmission Prevention
has led to many new protocols being instituted for all staff, volunteers, and visitors, including daily screening before entering our facilities, mandatory masking at all times unless eating or drinking, protective eyewear usage in patient care roles, social distancing of six feet in all areas, and so on. If a volunteer is exposed to COVID-19 or traveling outside of the state of Maine, a negative COVID-19 test and/or 14-day quarantine will be required before returning to service.
All employees and volunteers must wear their official Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center ID visibly, above the waist, at all times. In the event you forget your badge, go to Security
located in the main lobby for a temporary one day badge
. During flu season, the temporary badge will not have the appropriate stickers so employees and volunteers will need to mask while using a temporary badge.
Chemical hazard communication/right to know
You have the right to know:
- What hazardous chemicals are in your workplace (check with your volunteer leader)
- Every chemical must have a label on it
- What to do in an emergency
- Notify anyone in immediate area that a spill has occurred
- Dial 4444 and say you have a chemical spill
Exposure to chemicals can occur by ingestion (eating), inhalation (breathing), absorption (soaking) or injection (needle stick).
Dial 4444 to report ALL emergencies
When a code is called you will hear it on the overhead paging system repeated three times
along with the location. Likewise when the code is cleared it will be repeated three times.
CODE RED (FIRE) –
In case of fire, smoke or a very strong burning odor in your area, remain calm – do NOT shout “Fire!” The phrase for fire is “CODE RED”.
Resume regular activities when “ALL CLEAR”
(repeated three times along with location) comes over the overhead paging system. If you are the first to a fire, get staff assistance and follow their direction.
Volunteer responsibility is to get help!
During a Code Red, refer to staff for direction. Staff will always “R.A.C.E.”
Rescue anyone in immediate danger.
Activate nearest alarm, call emergency number 4444 giving exact location, type of fire.
- Confine the fire.
- Extinguish fire. (Volunteers are not expected to use an extinguisher.)
Know where alarm pull stations and fire exits are in your volunteer area. A fire exit is a path to escape from a building during a fire. The path is marked by EXIT signs. Elevators are never considered fire exits and should be used only under the direction of the fire department. Staff may ask you to assist by helping clear hallways and other such tasks. Remember to wait for staff direction.
CODE BLUE -
to initiate emergency care for anyone who has a cardiac or respiratory arrest or when a person collapses, loses consciousness and/or stops breathing. Dial emergency number 4444. Say “Code Blue” as soon as operator answers. Identify adult or child. Give exact location, the department, or area.
CODE STROKE –
same as Code Blue, but a stroke is suspected. Alerts pharmacy to arrive with stroke medication.
CODE GRAY –
a combative person or patient.
- a child is lost or separated from parent or guardian or a possible abduction. Be on the alert for any individual exhibiting suspicious behavior. Report suspicious behavior immediately to Security at 4444.
CODE TRAUMA -
a trauma is coming into the emergency department; the announcement will specify whether it is adult or pediatric and what tier. Trauma personnel will be moving rapidly through the hospital to respond. Be aware and make room for those responding.
Sexual harassment and abuse
Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center takes very seriously the issues of sexual harassment and abuse. Sexual harassment is defined as: unwelcome sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; suggestive or lewd remarks; unwanted hugs, touches or kisses; and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment. Sexual harassment can be verbal, non-verbal, or physical. If you feel you are being harassed, first ask the offender to stop. If this does not work, report sexual harassment immediately to your supervisor and/or Director of Volunteer Services. You may also contact the Maine Human Rights Commission at 207 624-6050.
The Medical Center has designated personnel to handle any cases of suspected abuse. Suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation of any incapacitated or dependent adult or abuse or neglect of a child (patient or visitor) must be reported immediately – notify your volunteer leader or other supervisor.
Cultural & religious diversity
Some people spend their days without encountering people from different backgrounds. In an environment such as ours here at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, it is important to bear in mind that our population is culturally diverse, made up of people from different national, social and religious backgrounds. We need to ALWAYS be respectful
of one another’s culture, recognizing that the culture that we are most familiar with may be foreign to others. We are here to put the Patient First
and that includes respecting the differences we may find in our patients, visitors, and staff.
Age specific competency
As a volunteer in a healthcare facility, you may interact with patients, families, and visitors of all ages. Be sure to communicate appropriately with your audience. Children
have a limited ability to communicate and understand what is happening to them. It is necessary to recognize those limitations in interacting with children. They often exhibit a fear of strangers. Babies and toddlers begin to explore their surroundings by crawling, walking, climbing, touching, tasting, and smelling; therefore it is important to provide a safe, clean environment free of hazards. As children grow, their communication skills increase. They become increasingly modest and are more conscious of privacy issues. It is important to respect their need for privacy when entering their rooms or communicating with them. As people become elderly
, there are changes that occur in the body which affect the ability to see, hear, and move about. The ability to respond lessens. Memory may be impaired. Confusion may occur. Some elderly people wear hearing aids and/or glasses to enhance communication.
As hospital staff, employees and volunteers, we are here to support and care for patients and families, always maintaining personal and professional boundaries. Close personal, romantic or sexual relationships with current patients are NEVER
acceptable, and may even be illegal in some circumstances.
Other important information
- All volunteers must register each vehicle they drive to and from the medical center and have a Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center issued parking permit. Please be sure to notify Volunteer Services of any vehicles that need to be added or removed.
- Please do not park in spots marked physician or patient parking.
- Please notify the Volunteer Associate of the hours you volunteer so it can be recorded.
- Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center dress code does not include blue jeans, sweats, shorts, or very short skirts. Your volunteer position may require you to wear closed toe shoes with socks or hose.
- The Medical Center is a tobacco free campus. The use of all tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars, pipes, smoke-less tobacco such as snuff and chew, electronic cigarettes and marijuana, including for medical use) is prohibited on hospital-owned property. This includes the parking garage and ALL grounds.
- If you see a lost or disoriented person, offer assistance. If you do not know the answer, find someone who does. You can call the Information Desk at 51015. If you forget the number, just dial 0 and ask for Information.
- You must call your Volunteer Leader/department directly when you are going to be absent.
Hand hygiene information
The best way to help prevent the spread of infection is simple:
All staff, including volunteers, must complete hand hygiene competency prior to start of service.
WASH YOUR HANDS!.
PROCEDURE FOR USE OF WATERLESS HAND-FOAM OR GEL:
- Push sleeves of uniform or shirt up above the wrist to mid forearm level,
- Dispense a dime to quarter size portion of foam/gel into palm of hands.
- Vigorously rub into all surfaces of hands and wrists until hands are dry. Do not dry with towels.
- Duration of entire procedure: 20 to 30 seconds.
- Do not pull sleeves down until hands are completely dry.
PROCEDURE FOR SOAP AND WATER WASH:
- Push sleeves of uniform or shirt up above the wrist to mid forearm level.
- Wristwatch may be pushed up above the wrist (mid forearm). It is preferable to limit jewelry to a wedding band only.
- Assess hands for hangnails, cuts or breaks in skin, and areas that are heavily soiled.
- Turn water on. Adjust the flow and temperature. Temperature of the water should be warm.
- Wet hands and lower forearms thoroughly by holding under running water. Keep hands and forearms in the down position with elbows straight. Avoid splashing water and touching the sides of the sink or faucet.
- Apply about 5 ml (1 teaspoon) of liquid soap. Lather thoroughly.
- Thoroughly rub hands together interlacing fingers and thumbs and move back and forth to wash between digits. Rub palms and back of hands with circular motion. Special attention should be provided to areas such as the knuckles, under rings and fingernails, which are known to harbor organisms.
- Rinse in the direction of forearm to wrist to fingers; with hands in the down position and elbows straight.
- Blot hand and forearms to dry thoroughly. Dry in the direction of fingers to wrist and forearms. Discard the paper towels in the proper receptacle.
- Turn off the water faucet with a clean, dry paper towel.
- Duration of entire procedure: 40 to 60 seconds.
- I understand HIPAA and the risks to Protected Health Information including patient, customer, physician, employee, volunteer, system, network, and business information
- I understand I may have additional mandatory education requirements in my department.
- I have been informed of local policies on security and parking.
- I understand the responsibility I have in reporting any volunteer-related injury I may incur and the process of notification.
- I know and understand the electrical, fire, and hazardous material safety procedure at my organization.
I have completed the entire orientation program and understand the information that was presented to me.
If I have further questions, I understand that I may contact the orientation presenter for clarification.
I authorize the sharing of medical information or special accommodation needs as it pertains to my volunteer experience.
- I agree that it is my responsibility to comply with the policies maintained locally and system-wide and any revisions made to them.
- I have been informed of the local Infection Control Procedures and understand my role in preventing infection.
- I understand the core principles of the Northern Light Health customer service and patient experience.
- I am aware of my contact for questions or concerns regarding any of the topics covered in the onboarding process.
- I understand that I there is a 90-day exploratory period. I or EMMC may terminate my volunteer service at any time during this period.