Public Health Nurse

Town of Duxbury Duxbury, MA Schedule R, Pay commensurate with qualifications

JOB TITLE: Public Health Nurse 

DEPARTMENT: Board of Health

REPORTS TO: Health Agent

FLSA STATUS: Non-exempt - Not Benefit Eligible

POSITION GRADE: Personnel Plan (non-union), Schedule R

RATE RANGE: Pay commensurate with qualifications

WORK SCHEDULE: Variable as needed (approx.13 hours per week/up to 60 hours per month)

Nature of Work: The purpose of this position is to promote and protect health and prevent of disease in the Town’s population, by conducting investigations of communicable diseases, performing professional nursing work, administering various public health programs and providing administrative and informational support services to the Board of Health, emergency management department, local officials, residents, members of the medical community and all other related work as required. 

Supervision Received: Under administrative direction of the Health Agent this position performs detailed, complicated and responsible functions requiring judgment and initiative in applying or demonstrating nursing skills and techniques, particularly in situations not clearly defined by precedent or established procedures. The Public Health Nurse operates within the scope of Board of Health regulations, Massachusetts General Laws, and nursing scope of practice/licensure. Employee refers unusual situations, policy questions, regulatory decisions, and budgetary determinations to the Health Agent and in accordance with established department rules, regulations, policies and procedures; only unusual problems or concerns are referred to supervisor.  The Public Health Nurse is also expected to resolve all conflicts, which may arise and coordinate with others as necessary. Due to the nature of the position, a portion of work is performed out of the office without direct supervision. 

Supervisory Responsibility:  Employee does not supervise other employees. 

Confidentiality:  Employee has access to department-related confidential information including communicable diseases and other sensitive medical information about citizens, which requires the application of appropriate judgment, discretion and professional protocols.  Employee handles this information in accordance with the State Public Records law including official files, department and client records as well as law suits. Confidentiality must be maintained with regard to this information in accordance with the Departmental Policy and Public Records Act.

Accountability: Consequences of errors, missed deadlines or poor judgment such as failure to use proper medical and nursing techniques and medications, could result in injury/death, seriously endanger public health and safety, personal injury, danger to public safety, legal repercussions or adverse public relations. 

Judgment:  The work requires examining, analyzing and evaluating facts and circumstances surrounding individual problems, situations, or transactions, and determining actions to be taken within the limits of standard or accepted practices. Guidelines include a large body of policies, practices, and precedents, which may be complex or conflicting, at times. Judgment is used in analyzing specific situations to determine appropriate actions. Employee is expected to weigh efficiency and relative priorities in conjunction with procedural concerns in decision making. Requires understanding, interpreting and enforcing state and local laws. 

Complexity:  The work consists of the practical application of a variety of concepts, practices and specialized techniques relating to a professional or technical field. Assignments typically involve evaluation and interpretation of factors, conditions or unusual circumstances; inspecting, testing or evaluating compliance with established standards or criteria; gathering, analyzing and evaluating facts or data using specialized fact finding techniques; or determining the methods to accomplish the work.

Nature and Purpose of Contact: Makes regular contact with co-workers, the public, groups and/or individuals such as civic leaders, peers from other organizations, representatives from professional organizations, and news media requiring patience, tact, diplomacy and discretion with children, adults, relatives of patients, members of the medical community, state/local government agencies, community agencies, schools, daycare facilities, and other town departments. Most contacts involve an information exchange dialogue. The employee serves as a spokesperson or recognized authority in matters of substance or considerable importance. The employee deals with the public and other individuals on behalf of the department to communicate departmental practices, procedure, regulations or guidelines. Employee may encounter individuals who have conflicting opinions or objectives, diverse points of view or differences where skillful negotiating and achieving compromise is required to secure support, concurrence and acceptance or compliance; or one-on-one relationships with a person who may be under severe stress, where gaining a high degree of persuasion may be required to obtain the desired effect. The employee represents to the public a functional area of the municipality on matters of procedures or policy where perceptiveness is required to analyze circumstances in order to act appropriately. Excellent communication and customer service skills are required involving courtesy, tact, and diplomacy in resolving complaints and concerns of the public. 

Essential Functions: The essential functions or duties listed below are intended only as illustrations of the various type of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position.

1.      Maintains variety of files, documents and data systems; prepares, maintains and updates client records, vendor invoices, billing statements, including billing for vaccines, supplies, reports; remains compliant with HIPAA/state laws and regulations. 

2.      Is trained in and familiar with NIMS 700, ICS 100 through 300. 

3.      Monitors state communicable disease information system (MAVEN), and conducts investigations, surveillance, and case management in accordance with state laws and regulations. Conducts isolation and quarantine as necessary to protect community at large. Investigates outbreaks and conducts epidemiological surveys of all cases of diseases dangerous to the public health. These efforts are undertaken in concert with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) using the Massachusetts Virtual Epidemiologic Network (MAVEN), and may occur on a “24-7” basis in emergency circumstances. These efforts involve the maintenance and revision of electronic records in MAVEN for communicable disease investigation, surveillance, and case management. Communicates with nursing homes, schools, daycares, hospital and other organizations on disease control and prevention. 

4.      Receives reports of food poisoning and carries out activities necessary for protection of the community, working with the Health Agent if the outbreak is traced to a public eating establishment.

5.      May inspect and issue licenses for a variety of recreational summer camps or other establishments in accordance with appropriate laws, regulations and procedures, and additionally coordinates with the Health Agent. 

6.      Receives and records reports of pulmonary and extra pulmonary tuberculosis.  Investigates reported cases.  Identifies contacts of infected persons and reports these to the Department of Public Health.  Screens high-risk groups within the general population.  Assists in the identification, transportation and hospitalization of patients eligible for admission to a hospital.  Assumes responsibility for the medical case management of tuberculosis and the uninterrupted treatment of patients.  Provides appropriate nursing services as necessary.  Manages all cases of tuberculosis; provides daily Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) for all multi-drug resistant cases.  Acquires sputum specimens and submits to lab for testing.  Proceeds with compulsory hospitalization as necessary. 

7.      Updates Massachusetts Immunization Registry, which requires entry of immunizations into database within seven days of vaccination as necessary.

8.      May assist with planning, organizing, conducting influenza vaccination clinics, as well as pop-up clinics in response to disease outbreaks. And manages vaccine administration through the MDPH MIIS system. 

9.      Coordinates presentations, trainings, programs, services and other activities to community groups to promote wellness, prevent disease and support individual and community health efforts.   May write articles for newspapers and community publications covering a broad range of topics, including general wellness, safety from mosquito and tick-borne illnesses, and mental health promotion and prepare reports, maintain confidential records, and research public health and medical data and evidence-based practices. 

10.  Is an active member of the Region 5 MRC (Medical Reserve Corps) and assists in emergency preparedness training exercises and drills and collaborates with first responder agencies and municipal departments as an active member of the Town’s emergency management department. 

11.  Is familiar with EDS (Emergency Dispensing Site) and Emergency Preparedness planning, exercises and drills and participates in the dispensing site as needed.

12.  Coordinates with local physicians, community hospitals, and with the school nurses, may attend and present reports to the Board of Health at monthly meetings or as requested , and represents the Health Agent as needed on town-wide, regional, and state committees, task forces, and working groups. 

13. Attends public meetings as necessary.

14. Performs similar or related work as required.

Recommended Minimum Qualifications:

Education and Experience: Current license to practice as registered professional nurse in Commonwealth of Massachusetts, immunization record and proof of immunizations, driver’s license and CPR certification required. Bachelor of Science in Nursing, degree from accredited institution preferred, and from one to up to three years of experience in public or community health nursing or a related field or any equivalent combination of education, training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

Special Requirements:

Valid Class D Motor Vehicle Operator’s License, CPR Certification

Knowledge, Abilities and Skill

Knowledge: Knowledge of current nursing and public health nursing principles, practices and procedures; knowledge of drug and immunization dosages, mechanisms of action, interactions and adverse side effects; knowledge of federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations; knowledge of social media and virtual collaboration environments; knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel.

Abilities: Ability to interpret and apply regulations firmly, tactfully, and impartially; ability to operate standard office equipment; ability to work independently and as part of a team; ability to be self-motivated, flexible and able to effectively prioritize, multi-task and meet deadlines; ability to learn and utilize department specific computer programs.

 Abilities: Ability to interpret and apply regulations firmly, tactfully, and impartially local, state and federal guidelines and laws; ability to operate standard office equipment; ability to work independently and as part of a team; ability to be self-motivated, flexible and able to effectively prioritize, multi-task in a detailed and effective manner and meet deadlines; ability to learn and utilize department specific computer programs. Ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing. Ability to deal tactfully with disgruntled members of the public; ability to establish effective working relationships with department staff, property owners, residents, subcontractors and other enforcement or regulatory agencies.

 Skill: Math skills; cultural competency, interpersonal, organizational, time management and listening skills. Skill in the operation of all above mentioned tools and equipment. Proficient organizational oral and written communication skills; effective negotiation skills; proficient data processing skills. 

 Work Environment: Work is generally performed under varying office, home and work site conditions. Performance of duties may involve exposure to noise and a combination of unpleasant elements such as odors, dust, heat and cold and requires continuous concentration and composure during emergencies and/or high incident volume periods.  Employee may be required to work beyond normal business hours to attend evening meetings and/or in response to emergencies.

 Occupational Risk:   Duties generally do not generally present occupational risk, with only occasional exposure to risk due to exposure to hazardous fluids such as blood and bodily fluids and infectious diseases. However, risk is mitigated by properly following safety precautions or procedures.  Employee is exposed to various weather conditions when traveling to work sites. Work may also involve occasional mental stress, such as completing several unrelated tasks within a relatively short period of time.

 Physical and Mental Requirements

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the position’s essential functions.

 Physical Skills:  Minimal physical demands are required to perform most of the work. The work principally involves sitting, with intermittent periods of stooping, walking, and standing. While performing the duties of this position, the employee is regularly required to talk, use hands to finger, handle, feel or operate objects and reach with hands and arms;, May be required to lift objects such as files, boxes of papers, office supplies, and office equipment weighing up to 30 pounds. Motor Skills Duties are largely mental rather than physical, but the job may occasionally require minimal motor skills for activities such as moving objects, using office equipment, including but not limited to telephones, personal computers, handheld technology, and other office equipment.

 Motor Skills:  Duties involve assignments requiring application of hand and eye coordination with finger dexterity and motor coordination. Examples include moving objects, operating a telephone system, and/or most other office equipment, using a personal computer, typing filing, sorting, operating an automobile, medical equipment including diagnostic testing equipment, computers, and other standard office equipment.

 Visual Skills:  Visual demands require routinely reading documents for general understanding and analytical purposes, ability to administer medications and immunizations, conduct physical assessments; ability to operate automobile, computers, office machines and equipment. Perception and the ability to adjust focus.

(This job description does not constitute an employment agreement between the employer and employee and it subject to change by the employer as the needs of the employer and requirements of the job change.)

This job will be posted June 25, 2020 and will remain open until filled 

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