THOUSANDS OF HOURS
IT STARTS WITH THE CCHS-1 TRAINING MANUAL
Any way you look at it, becoming CCHS certified involves a lot of training.
It's especially a lot of training when none of the CCHS training changes what is called "Scope of Practice." Scope of Practice is "The extent and limits of the medical interventions that a health care provider may perform." So then what -- exactly -- does CCHS certification allow a health care provider to do? Simple. Spending thousands of hours learning about health issues specific to the homeless population allows a health care provider to do their job better. Much better.
These are the levels of CCHS certification:
This level requires one semester of course work and is available both in person and online at the University of Arizona. The class is taught within the Sociology Department and is listed as CHS 334 (Care, Health, and Society 334). The course uses the CCHS-1 Training Manual as its written reference which is available for online review at this link.
This levels requires the training above plus 100 hours of supervised field instruction at a CCHS first-aid clinic.
This level requires a second semester of course work and is taught in person at the CCHS main campus at the Z Mansion in Tucson, Arizona. In addition, the CCHS-2 certification requires an additional 100 hours of supervised field instruction.
This level requires a third semester of course work and is taught in person at the CCHS main campus at the Z Mansion in Tucson, Arizona. In addition, the CCHS-3 certification requires an additional 1,000 hours of supervised field instruction.
This level requires a fourth semester of course work combined with research and is taught/mentored in person at the CCHS main campus at the Z Mansion in Tucson, Arizona. In addition, the CCHS-4 certification requires an additional 1,000 hours of supervised field service. (Final total for CCHS-4 certification = 4 semesters of coursework plus 2,200 total hours of field work with the homeless.)
All CCHS training is based off of:
The CCHS Foundation's Five Founding Principles
1) There is no “standard” homeless person. But, there is an identifiable local homeless culture that must be recognized, honored and understood.
2) A homeless person needing care rarely presents with his or her “real” medical issue. Each visit with a patient should be viewed as a chance to take the time to create a safe space where the frequently hidden medical issue can be identified and discussed.
3) One visit will not solve any problem. What will help solve the problem is the establishment of an ongoing relationship with the homeless patient.
4) You can’t refer until you build respect. What we can do on the street is very, very limited. What we can do — after we have earned the respect of the street — is virtually unlimited. Our job is to treat small problems, identify larger problems, and refer, refer, refer to appropriate medical care. None of this can be done without earning the respect of our patients.
5) A Band-Aid can save a life. Sure, it’s tiny. It’s decidedly low-tech. And it has no moving parts. But a Band-Aid can move medical mountains when it is offered with caring and kindness.