The job is exactly that: cleaning. A tech typically cleans 15-20 patient rooms per day, plus break rooms, common areas and restrooms. They mop floors, strip and make beds, remove trash and are available to go elsewhere in the hospital as needed for spills or other emergencies.
Bill Johnson, 50, of Moline, has been a cleaning tech II at Trinity for about 1½ years and enjoys it because he likes talking to people, striking up conversations with patients in their rooms as he cleans.
His area is a step-down unit where patients stay for a short time, often after surgery, and many are elderly.
"It's a good fit for me," he said.
No special education is required, although applicants must have a good command of English to interact with people and to be able to read, such as the labels on cleaning supplies that can be hazardous and require special handling.
Ability to lift up to 50 pounds also is required.
Johnson's previous jobs have included managing a bike shop, providing customer service in the plumbing supplies area of a Menards store and, most recently, working in a soft drink warehouse.
He left there, though, after the formerly family-owned business was purchased by a larger corporation that "knocked everybody down to entry level." Johnson's job entailed "back-breaking physical labor and it took its toll," he said. "I was exhausted, and we were under-appreciated."
Conditions are all together different at Trinity, he said.
Cleaning tech jobs are open because there is a lot of opportunity for advancement within the hospital and consequently employees often leave for something else, Jenna Hart, human relations business partner, said.
On the other hand, Ed Schroeder, a regional manager, said that with the recently adjusted pay scale, being a cleaning tech also could be a career job.
"It's a great opportunity," he said.
After starting at $15 per hour, employees are eligible for periodic raises up to $20.50, plus benefits. There also is a pay differential for night shifts and education assistance.
Johnson works 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. five days a week, with Wednesdays off, and every other weekend.