From The Asian
Reporter, V30, #09 (August 3, 2020), page 13.
PCC’s Contact Tracer Training opens August 3
Beginning this month, a new Portland Community College (PCC) training
course will help supply local agencies with qualified contact tracers to
help combat the spread of the coronavirus.
In April, Oregon governor Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA)
announced that as part of the state’s plan for re-opening, contact tracing
would be critical in combatting the spread of the virus. OHA emphasized the
need to create nimble, culturally specific monitoring and response teams,
which includes contact tracers.
Through the Institute for Health Professional Program, PCC’s Contact
Tracer Training is a self-paced, non-credit course made up of six modules.
Participants have up to two weeks to complete the training and earn a letter
of completion once they’ve finished.
Students learn the basics of COVID-19 and contact tracing; why the Health
Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is important;
understand and practice cultural awareness; learn the basics of motivational
interviewing; and how to effectively deliver a phone script.
Training classes are open beginning August 3.
"Contact tracers are critical to ensure the safe, sustainable, and
effective quarantine of those affected to prevent additional transmission by
tracing and monitoring infected people and notifying them of their
exposure," said Karen Sanders, division dean of Health Professions and
interim dean for Continuing and Community Education. "The foundation for the
curriculum of the course was provided by OHA and we supply the instructional
expertise and an online delivery method. They were excited to partner with
Sanders said there is high demand for contact tracers and preliminary
reports suggest that more than 100,000 contact tracers are needed nationwide
in the near future to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19. In
addition, PCC’s curriculum is aligned to specific training guidelines per
the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the OHA, which is a benefit to
students who complete the PCC training.
"Contact tracers are being hired by county and city health departments
and a wide variety of private businesses who are employing contact tracing
as part of their back-to-work strategy," Sanders explained. "Currently,
there is no educational or training requirement for these positions.
However, having training in the basics of COVID-19 and the skills for
culturally sensitive interviewing should provide an advantage for students."
When governor Brown and the OHA set the re-opening guidelines, PCC
president Mark Mitsui realized the need for training for local community
members, who can provide contact tracing with a culturally appropriate lens.
Mitsui has also emphasized that PCC has the ability and expertise to act as
a talent pipeline of culturally diverse individuals into these jobs.
"The information and guidance provided by the governor and OHA have built
the foundation for training and the deployment of the large numbers of
contact tracers that will be needed to successfully re-open Oregon," said
Mitsui. "However, in order for contact tracing to be the most effective at
the local level, each region must have a unique outreach, recruitment, and
training plan tailored to their culturally specific needs. Portland
Community College is well positioned to contribute to this effort."
To learn more, e-mail <email@example.com>
or call (971) 722-6633, or visit <www.pcc.edu/climb/contact-tracer>.