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Community Health Nurse - SHS in Philadelphia, PA at Public Health Management Corporation

Date Posted: 2/11/2019

Job Snapshot

Job Description

The community health nurse coordinates services in shelters for homeless adults. The community health nurse will provide triage of acute health problems, coordinate medical care provided by community healthcare providers and function as a team member with the extended HCH shelter outreach team. All services are provided in collaboration with on-site shelter management and staff and with community providers serving the shelter population. The nurse reports to the Nursing Supervisor of Adult Shelters Services.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:


  • Provide triage, referring clients to emergency departments, MHHC, Health Connections or other health care providers, as appropriate.
  • Provide client-centered health services that incorporate self-management plans.
  • Provide age appropriate immunizations according to most recent CDC immunization schedule utilizing standing orders.
  • Provide family planning / HIV services including testing and counseling according to most recent Family Planning Council guidelines within the scope of RN practice.
  • Provide / coordinate chronic disease management; educate client re: self care and medication management
  • Provide nursing case management, tracking referrals, labs and follow-up.
  • Document all services in a timely manner. Submit paperwork weekly; reports biweekly.
  • Observe HIPAA requirements and provide patient privacy within limitations of site.
  • Organize group education programs, as appropriate, for target population.
  • Train shelter staff (as needed) on universal precautions, communicable disease prevention and management, medication management and other health issues.
  • Additional duties as assigned by supervisor.


  • Collaborate with shelter case managers to facilitate services to residents
  • Advocate for consumers, as appropriate.
  • Notify immediate supervisor of any significant problems including client care, staffing, changes/issues at sites and system problems.
  • Connect clients to primary care, behavioral health, family violence or other social services as needed.
  • Oversee tracking of follow-up, HIPPA compliance, medication safety and other risk management activities at clinical sites.
  • Oversee lab services, medical waste pick-up, manage shelter supplies and other shelter based services.
  • Develop collaborative relationships with shelter providers and community health care providers. Coordinate referral for services to onsite and community providers.
  • Meet with Director of Shelter Services (in-person or teleconference) weekly to discuss progress of residents care.
  • Assume new responsibilities as new needs are identified.

Environment of care:

  • Submit environment of care report monthly for each site. Discuss any deficiencies with Director of Shelter Services.

  • Maintain medical equipment and logs. Report problems to supervisor.

  • Manage proper biohazard waste disposal. Report biohazard waste management issues to supervisor.

  • Mange lab specimen collection, proper patient identification on specimen and complete appropriate lab slips. Organize lab service pick-up as needed.

  • Manage shelter supplies by online ordering and Family Planning supplies through Family Planning Coordinator.

  • Order VFARR vaccines according to Philadelphia Department of Health Immunization Program guidelines. Monitor refrigerator and freezer temperatures, maintain logs

Infection Control:

  • Observe ambulatory care guidelines for infection control (hand washing, care of environment, use of safety syringes and sharps containers, use of personal protective equipment).
  • Notify Infection Control Coordinator immediately of suspected or confirmed cases of communicable disease.
  • Manage or participate, as needed, in shelter based communicable disease outbreaks, emergency preparedness / disaster response and other health initiatives.

  • Participate in emergency preparedness educational activities; become a member of the Philadelphia Medical Reserve Corps.

  • Assume new responsibilities as new needs are identified.


  • PA Nurse Practice Act
  • Provider agreements with managed care organizations
  • BPHC Program Expectations
  • Title XIX Medicaid Program
  • Title X Family Planning regulations (See Family Planning Manual)
  • OSHA
  • CLIA
  • Vaccines for Adults at Risk Program (See Immunization policy)
  • Vaccine Administration Adverse Event reporting System (VAERRS)
  • Philadelphia Department of Public Health reporting requirements authorized by the Disease Prevention and Control Law of 1955
  • Child Protective Service Law (See Child Abuse policy)
  • Pennsylvania DER regulations for managing medical waste (See Infection Control policy)
  • DHHS, PHS, 42 CFR “Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Client Records” (See Clinical Records policy)
  • PA Act 148 regarding confidentiality of HIV-related information
  • PA Department of Health regulations regarding the retention of medical records, Section 115.23 (a)   and (b)
  • Other regulations as required by HCH policies
  • Client contact: Approximately 60-70% of time

Impact of error:

Clinical errors in this position, including poor clinical judgment and missed opportunities can result in serious consequences including injury, illness, and death. Measures to reduce the probability of clinical errors or their consequences include:

Credentialing process:

  • Orientation program
  • Training in CPR and use of emergency equipment
  • Supervision/review of clinical records
  • Tracking and recall systems
  • Verbal and written information to clients
  • Self audits
  • Chart and MIS audits through Continuing Quality Improvement Committee
  • Audits by outside agencies, e.g. Family Planning Council, PCER
  • Employee health policy regarding screening, immunizations, and injuries including needle sticks
  • Client satisfaction surveys and focus groups

Procedural errors can result in loss of reimbursement for clinical services or loss of funding streams

Measures to reduce the probability of procedural errors include: 

  • Training on billable services and completion of billing forms
  • Supervision/review of billing forms
  • Reconciliation/rebilling process
  • Tracking and recall systems
  • Chart and MIS audits through Continuing Quality Improvement Committee
  • Audits by outside agencies, e.g. Family Planning Council, PCER

Communication/collaboration errors can result in loss of credibility with consumers, other agencies, and funders. Measures to reduce the probability of errors include:

  • Regular and ad hoc meetings with collaborating agencies
  • Clinical workgroups
  • Management workgroups

PHMC Compliance Responsibilities:

  • Understands and adheres to PHMC compliance standards as they appear in the PHMC Code of Conduct, Whistle Blowers and Conflict of Interest Policies.
  • Keeps abreast of all pertinent federal, state and PHMC regulations, laws, and policies as they presently exist and as they change or are modified.
  • Comply with HIPAA and Confidentiality Policies and Procedures as they apply to the job.
  • Comply with Department of Public Health (DPH), The Joint Commission and other accreditation and regulatory agencies standards.
  • Adhere to all PHMC Policies and Procedures.
  • Knowledge and adherence to Infection Control and Environment of Care Guidelines and Procedures as described in the annual education module. 

Job Requirements:

  • To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below must be representative of the knowledge, skills, minimum education, training, licensure, experience, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


  • Good written and verbal communication skills in English
  • Experience in, primary care, community health, and/or behavioral health preferred


  • Years of experience: 3 years in nursing or related field


  • AD or diploma, required.  BSN or MSN preferred.
  • Licenses and certifications: Pennsylvania RN  

Physical demands:

  • Travel is required between clinical site(s) by personal automobile or public transportation, reimbursed in accordance with PHMC’s travel reimbursement policy
  • Walking from public transportation and within sites is required
  • Stair climbing in shelters may be required

  • Carrying medical supplies, client charts, and forms is required. Packages over ten pounds can be mailed. Alternate arrangements can be discussed with supervisor or program manager.

Work environment:

  • Primary work environment is shelters, considered high risk for tuberculosis and other air-borne diseases. Communicable diarrheal diseases are common, particularly in family shelters, but transmission can be interrupted by appropriate hand washing. Many shelters are not wheel chair accessible.


  • Based on education and experience
  • Grade: 21