Hire Contact Tracers
Stopping the spread of a highly infectious disease or virus is a race against time. Every second counts. People must be notified if they have been in contact with an infected individual right away. Accurate identification of close contacts, assessing their exposure, and leading them to the proper course of action can be a matter of life or death. Contact tracers perform these crucial tasks and more.
The first step in hiring a contact tracer is creating a compelling job post. It should be clear, concise, and detailed. Are you looking for candidates who live in a specific area? What is the schedule? Is prior experience required? Carefully outline the responsibilities as well as requirements. These details will help candidates picture themselves working in your facility or institution.
Aside from general job boards, it is best for hiring managers to post job announcements on healthcare-specific job boards, online groups, and in community groups as well. Referrals from other medical professionals and employees themselves is a helpful way to source candidates. Your staff may already know someone with relevant experience, so let them know about the job opening.
Contact Tracer Responsibilities
From a general standpoint, contact tracers are primarily responsible for information dissemination and communication. Contact tracers begin contact identification by speaking with individuals who are confirmed to be diagnosed with a virus. They ask the patients information about their recent activities and the names and contact information of those who they have come in contact with since the onset of illness. These contacts may include the patient’s family, friends, colleagues, community members, and healthcare providers.
Contact tracers make every effort to contact each listed individual, inform them of their risks, assess their symptoms, and give them proper guidance on the best course of action. Contact tracers connect them with designated testing centers and provide information on isolation and quarantine procedures to prevent further spread of the virus. They can refer these contacts to hospitals or quarantine facilities as needed and maintain communication with them for status updates.
Moreover,contact tracers consolidate all information and statuses of the contact list using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. They maintain close coordination with the Local Health Department and proper authorities.
Lastly, contact tracers treat patients with respect, compassion, and empathy. They uphold patient confidentiality and professionalism at all times and follow legislation, healthcare laws, and policies.
Contact Tracer Skills and Qualifications
To qualify as a contact tracer, a candidate should have at least a high school diploma or GED. However, college-level education is preferred. Candidates must be proficient in data entry, Microsoft or Google office systems, and various CRM software.
Because contact tracers speak with distressed individuals, an ideal candidate is a person with excellent organizational, interpersonal, and customer service skills. Moreover, strong communication skills are a must as contact tracers interact closely with patients, healthcare workers, and local authorities. Fluency in English and other languages is advantageous.
Contact tracers provide an invaluable service in providing accurate information to infected individuals and their close contacts. To stop the spread of any contagious disease, close tracking is key.