In a charitable clinic setting, non-clinical volunteers are just as important and needed as clinical volunteers. There are multiple opportunities for non-clinical volunteers to play an active role in the running of the clinic. Volunteers with varying talents and skills are needed to support patients and volunteers.
The opportunities for non-clinical volunteers are vast. In addition to basic office tasks such as filing, sorting, and answering phones, clinics can use graphic designers, web designers, writers, gardeners, and professional organizers to name a few. Other possible volunteer opportunities include:
Charitable clinics ensure they are reaching their target population by determining eligibility to receive services based upon geography, income level, insurance status, and employment. Basic demographic information is also gathered.
As we all can relate to, visiting the doctor can be anxiety producing. Having a friendly face to welcome patients can put them at easy and help them understand the process for seeing a doctor.
Charitable clinics are often supported with grants from foundations. In order to demonstrate the clinic is running effectively and thus the grant funds have been used properly, charitable clinics will gather specific data points including number of patients seen, number of patient visits, etc. All of this is gathered from a patient’s chart and needs to be entered into a database. The clinic is always looking for a pair of hands or two willing to enter data.
Care and Feeding of Volunteers
Frequently charitable clinics are open to see patients during the evening or weekend. Volunteers often come directly from their paid position to the clinic to volunteer. Having a volunteer break room with food and drinks creates a welcoming environment. Individuals who can cook or bake or seek donations from the community are very helpful.
As with clinical volunteers, ensuring a positive volunteer experience is paramount. Identifying the expectations, skills, and desires of the volunteer in advance help to ensure both the volunteer and the clinic have a good experience. Flexibility in schedule is always honored by the clinic.
Opportunities for volunteering are rich for every age group . Older volunteers have valuable experience and mentoring skills, younger volunteers have boundless energy and creative ideas, even teenagers can find significance in volunteering in a healthcare clinic. A particularly rich source of volunteers are today’s 50+ year old “empty nesters.” Volunteering in a clinic can provide an outlet for those eager to serve in a meaningful way.