Communicable Disease Investigator

County of Santa Clara
Full Time, Part Time $77,943 - $94,149 Per year CA County of Santa Clara Employee Services Agency, 70 W Hedding St, East Wing, 70 W Hedding St 8th Floor, San Jose, CA 95110, United States Apply before 7/1/2024 11:59
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Overview

Under general direction, to perform a broad scope of communicable disease investigation, intervention, and education activities; to locate, interview, and counsel infected individuals and contacts; to arrange linkage to care and appropriate testing and treatment for control purposes; and to provide health education on communicable disease prevention and control.

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Typical Tasks

  • Reviews faxed and/or electronic lab reports, understands laboratory tests and other diagnostic test results, and conducts record searches to determine if the client/patient is a new or existing case in the system;
     
  • Locates cases, suspected cases, and contacts of communicable diseases;
     
  • Coordinates with medical providers, laboratories, and other health departments to secure and transmit medical and laboratory information related to clients/patients;
     
  • Assists clients/patients in receiving examination, testing, and treatment;
     
  • Interviews and advises clients/patients who are at risk for, or have, a communicable disease, elicits the name of contacts and detailed information about the client/patient's personal behavior, including the location of potential disease transmission;
     
  • Monitors diagnostic work-up of clients/patients;
     
  • Counsels clients/patients on behavior change/maintenance or lifestyle change actions that need to be initiated, educates about health risks, and promotes behavioral changes to reduce risks;
     
  • Motivates patients to adhere to treatment recommendations and identifies and implements interventions that support treatment compliance and overcome barriers;
     
  • Conducts field investigations and gathers data through interviews with contacts, suspects, and cases suspected of or having been in contact with a communicable disease;
     
  • Conducts environmental assessments to determine the risk of transmission;
     
  • Enters and maintains confidential client/patient data into electronic health records, State disease surveillance and/or local databases; documents progress notes; and accesses patient information, such as lab results and treatment verification;
     
  • Evaluates and addresses the integrity, quality, and completeness of data entered into disease surveillance databases;
     
  • Maintains epidemiological record of clients/patients, contacts and suspects;
     
  • Reports client/patient situations involving suspected abuse and neglect to authorities;
     
  • Consults and communicates with State and other health departments, laboratories, hospitals, medical providers, and other agencies regarding communicable disease-related issues;
     
  • Gathers information about illnesses and cases from school clerks/nurses, medical providers, healthcare facilities, restaurants, etc.;
     
  • Provides communicable disease information to the public, educators, and health care professionals;
     
  • Provides standard information and recommendations about disease management, diagnostic and treatment guidelines, and techniques for counseling to clients/patients and medical providers;
     
  • Communicates the role of the Public Health Department to clients/patients, medical providers, laboratory personnel, and the public;
     
  • Establishes and maintains effective working relationships with community partners to elicit client/patient information and access particular populations;
     
  • Serves Health and Safety Code letters, including isolation and quarantine orders and public health orders to test for source of substantial exposure;
     
  • Prepares reports and correspondence;
     
  • Assists clinicians at sexually transmitted infection clinics by conducting interviews and providing testing as indicated by specific programs;
     
  • Facilitates a weekly sexually-transmitted disease (STD) specimen collection clinic;
     
  • Schedules clients/patients for testing and treatment;
     
  • Performs phlebotomy for blood testing, rapid human immunodeficiency virus/hepatitis C virus (HIV/HCV) testing, and other sexually-transmitted infection testing; assists clients with self-collected specimens, provides pre- and post-testing counseling, and makes referrals to medical providers;
     
  • Administers TB tests and participates in follow-up of patients with tuberculosis, including directly observed therapy, as needed;
     
  • Transports patients to hospitals for further treatment;
     
  • Submits, or assists with transporting, specimens for laboratory testing;
     
  • Provides Patient Delivered Partner Therapy and Field Delivered Therapy to clients/patients and delivers other sexually transmitted infection treatment medications prescribed by clinician;
     
  • Makes referrals to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), postexposure prophylaxis (PEP), medical providers, substance abuse treatment services, domestic violence, mental health, and other community resources, as appropriate;
     
  • Assists with communicable disease outbreak investigations and disease control efforts, including gathering information, interviewing clients/patients, and presenting the information to the communicable disease team;
     
  • Participates in quality improvement activities, as directed;
     
  • May be assigned as a Disaster Service Worker, as required;
     
  • Performs related duties, as required.

Employment Standards

Sufficient education, training, and experience to demonstrate the possession and direct application of the following knowledge and abilities:
 
Training and Experience Note: The required knowledge and abilities are attained through training and experience equivalent to completion of a Bachelor's Degree in Biological Sciences, Public Health, Health Sciences, Behavioral Sciences, or closely related field,
 

and

 
One (1) year of work experience in communicable disease control.
 
Special Requirements:
  • Ability to travel to alternate locations in the course of work. If driving, possession of a valid California driver's license prior to appointment and the ability to qualify for and maintain a County driver authorization.
     
  • Within 12 months of appointment, some positions require satisfactory completion of, and thereafter, maintenance of, required training related to assignment, which may include but is not limited to tuberculin skin testing, Passport to Partner Services, Basic Counseling Skills Training, California HIV Test Counselor certification, Certified Phlebotomy Technician I, Fundamentals of Street Safety, Training/Operations for Safety Around Field Encounters, and/or Advanced Sexually Transmitted Disease Intervention, or their equivalent.
 
Knowledge of: 
  • Disease etiology, methods of transmission, control procedures, manifestations, natural history, and diagnosis and treatment of communicable diseases;
     
  • Standard techniques of communicable disease control;
     
  • Diagnostic tests for communicable diseases;
     
  • The function and responsibility of the Public Health Department;
     
  • Investigation, interviewing, and counseling techniques and principles;
     
  • Personal safety techniques;
     
  • Applicable Federal, State, and local laws, codes, and regulations;
     
  • State STD and HIV/HCV mandates when assigned to the STD/HIV program;
     
  • Electronic data management systems;
     
  • Standard office practices and procedures and use of common computer applications and equipment.
 
Ability to: 
  • Establish rapport with and gain confidence and trust of patients of varied cultures, races/ethnicities, languages, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender identities and expression, religious beliefs, immigration status, national origins, abilities, medical comorbidities, and personalities;
     
  • Conduct interviews of a very sensitive nature in a respectful and non-judgmental manner;
     
  • Recognize the role of economic, cultural, social, and behavioral factors while interviewing and performing investigation activities and adapt approaches accordingly;
     
  • Exercise initiative and tact in tracing contacts and bringing them in to seek testing and treatment;
     
  • Work with and around blood-borne pathogens and other infectious diseases utilizing appropriate personal protective equipment;
     
  • Apply working knowledge of medical terms and technology to enable discussion and explanation of communicable diseases with professional and nonprofessional people;
     
  • Display high standards of conduct and ethics and understand the impact of violating confidentiality standards on the patient, program, self, and others;
     
  • Participate in community activities involving public health;
     
  • Maintain accurate and confidential records and prepare clear and concise reports and correspondence;
     
  • Communicate clearly and effectively, both orally and in writing;
     
  • Follow and refer to Federal, State, and local guidelines and established protocols;
     
  • Work independently, handling a number of clients/patients simultaneously;
     
  • Work in office, clinic, and field settings;
     
  • Work as a member of a multi-disciplinary team;
     
  • Utilize communication, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills;
     
  • Obtain and maintain required certifications.
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