August 8, 2022

Spotlight on Environmental Services

08-08-2022 | Brier Haigh

Department Overview

The cleanliness of a hospital is of paramount importance, and the Environmental Services Department at Exeter Hospital ensures that our facilities are pristine. EVS cleans and disinfects the entire hospital, setting the first impression for our patients and keeping our patients, their families, and our employees safe. Throughout Exeter Hospital, EVS personnel are known for being friendly, compassionate, and caring with a strong sense of teamwork.

Stories from the Pandemic

Over the last two years, anyone working in the medical field has had to deal with anxiety about COVID-19. Since the beginning of the pandemic, EVS has been on the front lines, ensuring all hospital spaces are clean and disinfected.

Cleaning a COVID room understandably created some apprehension among the staff. Rick Belschner, EVS Director, met with the staff to discuss safety procedures. He explained that the cleaning guidelines, particularly regarding PPE, had been set by Exeter’s COVID-19 response team with the safety of the EVS staff and Exeter patients at top priority.

Rick asked for a show of hands: “Has anyone been contaminated while cleaning any kind of precaution room with your PPE on?” Not one person raised a hand, and Rick said, “You all know how to protect yourselves to stay safe, no matter what kind of room you are cleaning. Follow the same safety guidelines for COVID-19 as you would any other precaution.” The staff was relieved.

Another challenge brought on by COVID was the need for additional EVS personnel to meet the cleaning protocols. Exeter established a Labor Pool for employees displaced by the pandemic due to service lines that had been temporarily paused. Some of those

employees moved temporarily to EVS to work as housekeepers. The EVS management team made those employees feel supported and appreciated with training, daily huddles for communication, and all-day availability for questions and concerns. At the time, Rick Belschner noted the importance of the work EVS staff members were doing, saying, “That’s why we want to make sure we are available if they need help, as well as to provide reassurance and acknowledge their efforts.”

Labor Pool employees had a great experience, appreciating the opportunity to continue working in a welcoming environment.

Working in the Environmental Services Department

EVS has openings in multiple positions right now. We asked Environmental Services personnel what they like best about working in their department, and they had a lot to say:

  • A department that really functions as a team
  • Opportunities to earn bonuses: retention, spot, and referral
  • Competitive pay
  • Flexible and consistent scheduling
  • Plenty of overtime available
  • A caring management team

Careers in Environmental Services offer potential for growth. In this video, Rick Belschner shares how he started at Exeter Hospital in housekeeping and has worked his way up to Director of the department: Working in Environmental Services at Exeter Hospital – Youtube 

To learn more about working at Exeter in Environmental Sciences, please visit our careers microsite

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