May 3, 2012 | Vol. 39, No. 18

New screening requirements for hospital volunteers

Existing volunteers, and anyone who is interested in volunteering, will have to go through a background check, the Petersburg Medical Center board approved on Thursday.

Each volunteer will be fingerprinted, be required to undergo annual TB screenings and watch training videos on infection control, hand washing, and HIPPA regulations.

The board has changed the policy for traveling physicians and other health care professionals who rent properties that are owned or leased by the Medical Center.

The temporary staff members will now be required to sign a rental agreement and pay security deposits. Additional pet deposits will be assessed as needed.

The Medical Center owns or leases 10 properties throughout Petersburg that are available for traveling staffers, also known as “locums.” Locum, short for the Latin phrase locum tenens, means place holder.

“Talking philosophically … How many places do we need to be available to us at any given time?” asked Board President Tom Abbott. “Having 10 around town seems really, kind of outrageous to me,” he added.

“It's starting to look like we need a full-time employee just to manage the housing units,” Abbott added.

The center needs to provide affordable housing for locums in order to stay competitive, they discussed.

The board's policy for a refundable pet deposit on rental properties was approved.

The Medical Center owns five vehicles, and the board discussed the policy of loaning these vehicles to locums that live outside of the downtown area. It costs $80 to $100 a day to rent a car from Tides Inn. The board will look into more affordable options.

The board also took action on a job shadowing policy. Ten high school students have begun participating in a new job shadow program. Students can job shadow as long as they stick with the code of conduct and go through HIPPA training, the board unanimously approved.

The lab will set up fake test results and mock scenarios for teaching opportunities for the students.

Dr. Kris Sargent, who began a clinical rotation at the Medical Center on April 23, will be here throughout the week and will join the medical staff permanently in August.

The Joy Janssen Clinic will host a staff luncheon in Sargent's honor today at noon in the clinic lunchroom.

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