Communicable Disease Investigator - Grays Harbor County
Works independently and/or as part of a team to identify, locate, contact, interview, educate, and instruct persons with infectious diseases to identify sources of infection and decrease the spread of disease in the community. Requires interaction with physicians, laboratory staff, and other health care personnel to exchange information relevant to the investigation and management of disease.
Work is done under general supervision and is guided by procedures established by Grays Harbor County Public Health Department, the Washington State Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Candidates must pass a criminal background check. Strict adherence to confidentiality rules is required.
- Receive disease reports from health care providers, laboratories, and electronic notification systems.
- Act as a liaison with health care providers, hospitals, and laboratories concerning patients who have notifiable conditions. Provide consultation and appropriate guidelines for the diagnosis, management, and treatment of notifiable conditions.
- Respond to inquiries from the public and community partners.
- Interpret complex laboratory results based on case definitions and disease control procedures established by the Department, the Washington State Department of Health, and/or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Interview persons diagnosed with notifiable conditions to identify source of exposure and collect information about close contacts who are at risk of disease.
- Educate persons diagnosed with notifiable conditions about the mode of transmission and period of communicability and provide instruction on any necessary isolation or quarantine procedures.
- Reach out to identified contacts to notify them of their exposure, determine if they have symptoms disease, offer prophylaxis if appropriate, and refer for health care as needed.
- Identify situations where there is potential common-source exposure and/or cases of urgently notifiable conditions and notify appropriate leadership.
- Identify themes in transmission that may indicate a disease cluster involving workplaces, social, or congregate living situations.
- Document work thoroughly and accurately using electronic and paper-based systems provided.
- Maintain epidemiologic records and reports.
- A Bachelor’s degree in public health and one year experience working in a health setting, or
- A Bachelor’s degree in a health or human services-related field and three years experience working in a health care setting, or
- A Bachelor’s degree plus a combination of education and experience that provides the necessary skills, knowledge and abilities to perform the duties as listed
- Valid Washington State Driver’s License
- The role of the governmental public health system in disease control and prevention.
- Basic medical terminology
- Basic principles of epidemiology of infectious disease
- Social determinants of health
- Community health care resources.
- Confidentiality laws applying to protected health information.
- Organization, prioritization, and time management
- Verbal and written communications (i.e. interviewing cases and contacts, documenting investigation and case management activities, participating in team planning and debriefing).
- The use of electronic devices to use web-based tools, participate in video meetings, interact via text message, etc.
- The use of word processing, spreadsheet, email, and internet software.
- Data management and analysis.
- Provide accurate and efficient data entry into electronic systems.
- Manage multiple priorities and prioritize tasks in order to ensure timeliness, quality and quantity of work.
- Exercise skill and judgment in engaging effectively and empathetically with individuals who may be experiencing distress.
- Work respectfully with individuals of diverse age, disability, religious culture, ethnicity, sexual orientation, social class, indigenous background, national origin and gender.
- Function in a teamwork environment and coordinate work with other employees, supervisors, and managers as appropriate.
- Exercise discretion and strict adherence to confidentiality requirements.
- Think critically to determine the level of public health risk based on information received in case investigation and contact tracing.
- Properly utilize personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves.
- Maintain a respectful demeanor, interact effectively with others, and recognize and attend to self-care when job stress, heavy workload and stressful situations occur.