Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Health Care & Wellness Committee

SB 5177

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Requiring long-term care workers to be trained to recognize hearing loss.

Sponsors: Senators Bailey, Keiser, Palumbo and Conway.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Requires training in the identification of hearing loss to be a component of basic training for long-term care workers.

Hearing Date: 3/10/17

Staff: Chris Blake (786-7392).


A long-term care worker is any person who provides paid, hands-on personal care services for the elderly or persons with disabilities. The term includes individual providers of home care services, direct care workers employed by home care agencies, providers of home care services to people with developmental disabilities, direct care workers in assisted living facilities and adult family homes, and respite care providers. The term does not include employees of nursing homes, hospitals, acute care settings, residential habilitation centers, hospice agencies, adult day care centers, and adult day health centers. The term also excludes people who are not paid by the state or any private agency or facility licensed by the state to provide personal care services.

Long-term care workers must complete 75 hours of entry-level training within 120 days of being hired. These training requirements include two hours of orientation training, three hours of safety training, and 70 hours of long-term care basic training related to core competencies and population-specific competencies.

Summary of Bill:

The identification of hearing loss in clients and how to seek assistance for clients with suspected hearing loss are added to the topics that must be covered in the 70 hours of long-term care basic training for long-term care workers.

References to expired standards for certification and exemptions from training requirements are removed.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.