The health care industry continues to advance — not just in technology but in awareness of safely maintaining the patient’s experience and protecting hospital operations. Creating a safe environment to help foster recovery is of the upmost importance for health care facility owners and operators. But what about those who spend hours, days, weeks, months, and even years working in these facilities? Those individuals — whether employed by hospitals and medical facilities or contracted workers — should also be highly concerned about and aware of safety precautions. The American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) offers two worthwhile, largely underutilized certifications: the Physical Environment Worker (PEW) and Certified Healthcare Constructor (CHC).
The ASHE PEW certification provides confirmation of basic fundamentals for working in and around hospitals, including basic practices for construction in health care facilities, patient privacy, infection control and prevention, and the basics of life and utility safety systems in health care.
Applicants must pass a one-hour, timed, 75-question exam to obtain the certification. PEW requires no previous experience or education in health care construction, and ASHE offers a number of resources for exam preparation, including a handbook, educational program, and online training videos.
For the safety of its clients, staff, and, most importantly, the patients, Dewberry is striving to ensure on-site staff in any role at health care facilities holds ASHE PEW certification.
For seasoned health care project managers, construction administration staff, and interested design engineers with a bachelor’s degree and at least five years of health care project experience, CHC provides verification of a deeper understanding of the challenges in health care construction projects, including health care industry fundamentals; planning, design, and construction processes; interim life safety and infection control risk management processes; health care facility and patient safety; financial stewardship; and more.
The exam emphasizes not only a knowledge of direct construction requirements but also the full impact construction activities have on health care facility operations, the patient experience, safety, security, and finance. Of the thousands of professionals working in health care construction, only 1,200 nationwide boast CHC certification.
At Dewberry, three of our senior health care project managers are CHC-certified.
These two certifications provide additional training for health care workers, which ultimately provides improved and more efficient hospital operations and better, safer patient experiences. Although these certifications are not yet required by most health care facilities, obtaining them is in the best interest of employees, families, and patients.