Thank you for your interest in volunteering at the Rice Lake Area Free Clinic (RLAFC). Volunteering is a fun and rewarding experience, but it requires a commitment since patients, staff, and other volunteers rely on you. We are excited about your participation in providing high-quality care to those in need of our services within the community. Below you will find our General Guidelines for Volunteers of the Rice Lake Area Free Clinic that we would like for each volunteer to follow. If you have any questions, contact the Volunteer Coordinator for clarification.
Volunteer Code of Ethics and Rules of Conduct The successful operation and reputation of RLAFC are built upon the principles of fair dealing and ethical conduct on the part of our volunteers. Our reputation for integrity and excellence requires careful observance of all applicable laws and regulations, as well as a regard for the highest standards of conduct and personal integrity. While providing healthcare at RLAFC, all volunteers should carry themselves in a professional manner. They must always act in a way that will merit the continued trust and confidence of our patients, RLAFC volunteers, referral sources, vendors, and other members of the community, regardless of age, sex, race, ethnicity, national origin, financial status, religion, or sexual orientation.
Volunteering with RLAFC is by mutual consent and either party may terminate the relationship at any time, with or without cause, and with or without advanced notice. The use of good judgment and high ethical principles will guide you to acceptable conduct. If a situation arises where it is difficult to determine the appropriate course of action, the matter should be discussed with either the clinic director or volunteer coordinator.
Service Excellence We place a high degree of importance on establishing and maintaining an atmosphere of friendliness, courtesy, concern for each patient, visitor, staff, and volunteer so that our patients have a favorable perception and experience with our clinic. This is provided through Service Excellence.
Patient Confidentiality In your position, you may have access and exposure to personal information about patients and their medical and social history. It is very important that volunteers respect and maintain confidentiality in regard to all patient information obtained at the Rice Lake Area Free Clinic. The fact that someone is receiving treatment or services at RLAFC is confidential information.
Training Training for many clinic positions entails shadowing an experienced volunteer for at least two evening clinics. That volunteer will train you during that time, and once your trainer confirms your understanding of and ability to carry out the specified role, you can begin to sign up on the schedule for clinic hours (see scheduling). Volunteer duties and responsibilities are outlined in each job description, each volunteer is responsible for following them. If you are interested in training for more than one volunteer position, please contact the volunteer coordinator for additional information. If there are any concerns regarding your training or job description; or you have any questions you may contact the volunteer coordinator by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scheduling Volunteers are responsible for signing up on the RLAFC sign up page on Signup Zone. The links for each month available can be found on the clinic’s website. The links will also be emailed to volunteers when each month is available for signing up. Volunteers simply have to click on the link, which will take them to the sign-up sheet for the specific month. Once there, simply click in the box that corresponds to the date and job duty that they wish to volunteer for, type in their name, and hit enter. Volunteers who do not have access to the internet can contact the volunteer coordinator for assistance to sign-up for dates that they would like to volunteer for. If there are vacancies for any clinic night, volunteers will be contacted by email regarding their availability.
Sign In/Sign Out RLAFC records hours worked by volunteers at the clinic for reasons such as applying for grants or funding, presentations to community organizations and the clinic board of directors, and reference letters for individuals upon request. To accurately record this information, we ask that all volunteers sign in and out for each shift that they work at RLAFC on the volunteer log sheet in the clinic breakroom.
Attendance In order for RLAFC to run smoothly and give the best care possible, it is important for all volunteers to attend each clinic as scheduled. If there is any reason a volunteer cannot make their scheduled shift, or are going to be late, please notify the volunteer coordinator at Volunteers@rlafc.org as soon as possible. We monitor this email closely, but volunteers may also call the clinic at 715-736-3733, if they do not have access to email.
Vaccines and Immunizations: All on-site volunteers are asked to be fully vaccinated prior to committing to volunteer at RLAFC. In addition, volunteers must be willing to submit to any needed vaccinations that may be necessary as part of their volunteer services. Any questions may be directed to the clinic director or volunteer coordinator at 715-736-3733.
Emergency Closing/Inclement Weather Weather conditions may require RLAFC to cancel on clinic days to accommodate weather related problems. RLAFC’s policy is: if the Rice Lake School District is closed due to inclement weather, the clinic will also be closed. The volunteer coordinator will send an email to those who are scheduled to volunteer, a notice will also be posted on the RLAFC Facebook page and announcements will be made on the local radio stations. However, if the clinic remains open, RLAFC wants to put your personal safety first, as we do for our patients. If you are unable to come in, please email the volunteer coordinator at Volunteers@rlafc.org or call the clinic at 715-736-3733 and leave a message.
Cultural Sensitivity Cultural sensitivity begins with the recognition that there are differences between cultures. These differences are reflected in the ways different groups communicate and relate to each other and how they carry-over into interactions with healthcare providers. In healthcare, the providers and their patients need to interact effectively; they must move beyond both cultural sensitivities and cultural biases that create barriers. To become culturally competent is an ongoing process. Cultural competence is an important component of providing health care as the diversity of America’s patient population and the disparities in the health status of people from a different racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, religious, and cultural backgrounds continues to increase. A clinician must respect the differences seen in other people, including customs, thoughts, behaviors, communication styles, values, traditions, and institutions. Culture greatly influences how people view their health and the healthcare services they receive. Clinicians need to be aware of these differences, respect them, and work within the parameters set by the patient’s values. Clinicians need to recognize their own cultural values and draw parallels where possible; they need to identify stereotypes and prejudices that prevent them from effective communication with their patients. A clinician should be aware of the differences that exist within cultures. A common culture may share a common historic and geographic experience but individuals within the group may not share anything beyond that. Patients are often willing to share their customs with those who seek to understand them. Genuine concern about what is important to the patient is the best way to ensure that culturally competent care will be provided.
Language Barriers Language differences between a health care provider and the patient are a further barrier to providing optimum health care. A list of interpreters who are available by phone are on the wall in the office. At times, there will be an interpreter on-site. If there is a need for an interpreter of a language other than what is available, please let the clinic director or volunteer coordinator know.