Job Coach - Lise Dossi
The V.A. Medical Center provides vocational training and experience for special needs students with the cooperation of regular hospital employees working in tandem with school staff. The job coach on site provides 1-2 weeks of initial orientation for students. The general orientation consists of extensive safety training, discussion of site rules, expectations for students and confidentiality issues. This is supplemented with advanced training as required by the specific department in which the student will work.
Prior to receiving a work assignment, the students tour a variety hospital departments and are introduced to a variety of departmental staff. Student placements are based upon student skills, interests, previous volunteer/work experiences and available hospital vacancies. Students are requirred to complete various paperwork, receive a Mantoux tuberculin test and are interviewed regarding their past work and training experiences. Student placement preferences are honored when possible.
Students work with their respective co-workers four days per week and participate in a vocational skills class one day per week. The Wednesday class session provides students with valuable opportunities to process, reflect and refine their work performance. Students also take part in on-going training on relevant topics.
Students independently move about the hospital and work in their assigned departments. Work uniforms are provided by the V.A. and are laundered on site. Students must possess sufficient manual dexterity and have the ability to walk and stand for at least two hours. A strong sense of professionalism is required. Honesty, courtesy, safety awareness and good personal hygiene are paramount.
A SAMPLE OF HOSPITAL WORK AREAS
Nutrition and Food Service - Duties may include: inventorying and setting up foods for upcoming patient meals; assisting the cooks with food preparation; apportioning numerous individual servings of fruits, salads, desserts, etc.; delivering meal trays to patient rooms.
Medical Supply - Duties may include: opening boxes, and flattening boxes; transferring medical supplies from boxes to bags and labeling bags; loading carts, accurately matching items and neatly stocking shelves. Students may also assist with supply deliveries throughout the hospital.
Clerical - Duties may include: answering telephone and taking messages; replacing policies and procedures in manuals; organizing and recording mail; copying, collating and filing records and entering data on computer.
Patient Escort - Duties may include: escorting patients to and from various hospital locations practicing wheelchair safety; assisting patients with coats, nametags, snacks, etc.; assiting patients with games, crafts and other recreational activities.
Housekeeping - Duties may include: cleaning and restocking bathrooms, dusting, vacuuming, mopping, emptying trash and washing windows.
Canteen Services - Duties may include: laying out uncooked foods on pans; stocking food and beverages by date; serving food behind the counter; clearing tables, collecting trays and emptying trash and stocking paper products.