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DESCRIPTION OF WORK:
The WIC Peer Counselor contributes to IHC’s mission and goals of client satisfaction, quality of care, cost competitiveness, and productivity by encouraging WIC clients to breastfeed their infants and providing training, support and follow-up to WIC clients. WIC Peer Counselor works with the WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator, community groups, hospitals and WIC clients to increase the number of WIC clients who breastfeed their infants and to minimize barriers to breastfeeding, where possible.
Knowledge of and skill in general office work in order to carry out repetitive clerical tasks. Knowledge of common practices of breastfeeding. Knowledge permits WIC Peer Counselor to complete a few routine healthcare and educational procedures and to operate basic equipment and instruments such as a breast pump machine.
- Educates WIC participants and clinic staff on the benefits of breastfeeding and issues including latching on, initiation of breastfeeding at the hospital, supply and demand, and preventing problems.
- Conducts prenatal classes at WIC clinics as directed.
- Contacts participants in prenatal program and assists health professionals in counseling participants.
- Makes contact with new mothers via phone or personal visit to hospital or home to prevent or resolve problems and provide information and support that will encourage the continuance of successful breastfeeding.
- Educates breastfeeding mothers on the expression and storage of human milk.
- Refers clients who meet guidelines for breast pump and/or breastfeeding aids to breastfeeding coordinator.
- Refers problems and difficult breastfeeding cases to WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator, including all cases where medical intervention is needed.
- Performs outreach activities to the community on WIC and breastfeeding.
- Returns calls to WIC participants in a timely manner according to local agency guidelines.
- Arranges follow-up contacts with WIC participant according to her needs and schedule.
- Maintains accurate and up-to-date documentation of contacts with WIC participants.
- Accurately documents all time spent completing WIC-related duties.
- Submits documentation to supervisor according to set deadlines.
- Attends appropriate training to increase personal knowledge.
DESIRABLE KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES:
Communication – Able to:
- Demonstrate effective verbal and written communication skills
- Effectively communicate ideas with a diverse population with a wide range of educational and socio-economic levels, both one-on-one and in group settings.
- Establish and maintain effective and cordial working relationships with WIC staff and clients.
- Resolve conflicts, think creatively and negotiate solutions.
- Demonstrate positive customer service skills.
WIC Functions—Able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of anatomy and physiology of breastfeeding problems, techniques of breastfeeding promotion.
- Demonstrate knowledge of cultural and ethnic food and nutrition practices.
- Able to maintain participant confidentiality.
- Demonstrate awareness of limitations of Peer Counselor position and works effectively with clients within boundaries of that position.
- Learn and follow standard work practices/procedures – every time – without variation or error.
- Willing and able to accept work-related telephone calls at home.
Work Product—Able to:
- Demonstrate high detail orientation and accuracy.
- Perform responsibilities accurately, efficiently and timely.
- Demonstrate knowledge of standard office practices and procedures.
- Participate in high performing work teams; maintain a team approach to problem solving.
Process Improvement—Able to:
· Follow standard work procedures
· Participate in process improvement projects as required
Technology –Demonstrate office equipment and computer skills, including data entry; Able to use Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook, and electronic health records, etc.
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE
Completion of high school or GED. Personal breastfeeding experience. Prefer current or past WIC participant. Spanish language skills preferred.