Our clinics could not take place without the hard work of our staff at Headquarters in Rockford, TN, just 15 minutes south of Knoxville.
From filling out the right paperwork, loading up our equipment, restocking our supplies, and maintaining our vehicles, every task at Headquarters is key to ensuring that we provide free, high-quality clinics across the country year after year.
If you think Headquarters may be a good fit for you, give Hope Tipton (our Volunteer Coordinator) a call at 865-862-5581, an email at email@example.com, or drop by sometime to see HQ for yourself.
We can hardly wait to show you the place.
Volunteering at a RAM clinic is not your typical 9 to 5 day at the office. It requires a commitment to hard work, but it is truly an exhilarating and rewarding experience.
The days are long, the work is tiring, and yet clinic after clinic our volunteers keep bouncing in with energy and smiles, ready to make a patient’s day a little bit easier.
In order to make a RAM clinic run smoothly, it takes an army of devoted volunteers with diverse backgrounds and interests to come together for one mission: to prevent pain and alleviate suffering.
We truly hope to see you at a clinic this year as you become part of the team that brings thousands of Americans much-needed care.
Regardless of which area you work in at a clinic, here is a general overview of what your volunteer weekend might look like:
- A typical clinic day kicks off between 5:10am and 5:40am, and ends anywhere from 4-6pm.
- The final day of the clinic will wrap up between noon and 3pm, followed by a final breakdown of equipment that finishes around 5pm.
- Your food while at the clinic will be provided, so don’t sweat having to prepare breakfast and lunch, we’ve got it covered.
- Every clinic is different, so you will receive more detailed information once you register for a clinic.
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We simply cannot help our patients without the selflessness and compassion of our health care professionals who donate their time and hard work to those who most need it.
You really are the front line of those making a lasting difference.
All licensed professionals must have a valid US license. Those without a valid US license will not be able to provide patient care and must register as General Support.
Also note that some states do not allow out-of-state volunteers; if this is the case, it will be noted in the Volunteer Information section as you register for a clinic.
- Dental: accepts all Dentists, Oral Surgeons, Dental Hygienists, and both registered and non-registered Dental Assistants.
- Vision: accepts all Optometrists, Ophthalmologists, Optometric Techs, Ophthalmic Techs, and both licensed and non-licensed Opticians.
- Medical*: accepts MDs, DOs, Physician Assistants (PA), Nurse Practitioners, Podiatrists, and Athletic Trainers. Other specialties may be in need at certain clinics, so if you are interested please email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
- Triage*: accepts RNs, Paramedics, AEMTs, and LPNs.
* Medical and Triage fill up very fast. If your preferred clinic is full in these departments, please consider helping as a General Support volunteer.
Malpractice insurance is not provided by Remote Area Medical for our clinics.
Many physicians find that the fine print of their regular malpractice policy does include volunteer work, while many others choose to take the risk in order to serve those in need. RAM does not require it, so it is entirely up to you.
For help with lodging and travel arrangements, contact HopeT@ramusa.org, as free and discounted rooms are sometimes made available by the host communities.
If you would like to be involved in RAM’s international and disaster relief missions, please contact email@example.com directly for more information.
Students on a health care professional track are the key to RAM’s sustainable future, and we trust you will be the ones staffing our clinics ten years from now.
We know how important it is for students to get hands-on experience, while also gaining life-changing exposure to the underserved.
However, RAM clinics operate with only one goal in mind: to bring free, high-quality healthcare to those in need.
Many of our patients haven’t seen a doctor in decades, so we try to make the experience as professional and comfortable as possible.
This is not a teaching operation, and our first duty is to our patients.
Pre-Med, Pre-Dental, Pre-Nursing, Pre-Optometry Undergraduates: No pre-health undergraduates will be able to provide patient care.
If you are in undergrad, please register as General Support, which will still allow you to see many other fascinating aspects of our operations.
Nursing Students (RN, BSN): In order to work in our Triage area, you must have faculty supervision.
A licensed faculty member may bring up to five students, all of whom must be in the last “half” of their nursing program. For example, if you are in a four-semester accelerated program, you must at least be in your third semester on the date of the clinic.
We ask that nursing schools commit to attending the full clinic (so both Saturday and Sunday for a regular two-day event). Have your faculty supervisor contact firstname.lastname@example.org for authorization.
MD, DO, PA, and NP Students: In order to work in the Medical department, you must have faculty supervision.
A licensed faculty member may bring up to five students, all of whom must be juniors or seniors in their programs.
Schools traveling long distances may bring up to ten students, with only five working in medical one day and the other five switching in the next. Have your faculty supervisor contact email@example.com for authorization.
Dental Students: In order to work in the Dental department, you must have a licensed faculty supervisor and be in your fourth year of dental school.
Please have your licensed faculty supervisor contact firstname.lastname@example.org for scheduling.
Optometry/Ophthalmology Students: In order to work in our Vision department, you must have faculty supervision and be in your junior or senior years of school.
Please have your faculty licensed practitioner contact email@example.com for scheduling.
LPN, EMT, CNA, MA Students: Due to the large demand for triage practitioners, we are currently unable to accept these students in our Triage department. Until you graduate, please join us as a General Support volunteer!
If you are unable to find faculty supervision, we strongly encourage you to sign up as a General Support volunteer and work in other areas of our clinics.
Lodging: Volunteers are responsible for their own transportation and lodging. However, sometimes rooms are made available to us, so have your faculty supervisor contact HopeT@ramusa.org for clinic-specific details.
Students not on a professional health care track are more than welcome at our clinics!
Your enthusiasm is contagious at our clinics, and you are an essential part of our work. Please register yourselves as General Support and feel free to register for whichever clinics you please.
Keep in mind that General Support can fill up very quickly, so plan on registering right when registrations open, about 4-6 months prior to a clinic.
For teenagers between 14 and 17, a parent or guardian must be present to supervise them for the entirety of the clinic.
Please also keep in mind that no one under the age of 18 will be allowed in service areas where they may come into contact with blood-borne pathogens and/or confidential patient information.
Please have your parent or guardian contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to bring your teenage child to an expedition.
Unfortunately, we cannot allow any child under the age of 14 at our clinics. They are very cramped and fast-paced, and therefore are only appropriate for those 14 and up.
Pilots are an essential part of RAM’s expeditions. If you are a pilot, have your own plane, and are willing to donate your services with expeditions, both domestic and abroad, please contact email@example.com
General Support volunteers are truly the glue that makes the rest of our work possible.
In General Support, you can expect assignments as varied from registering patients as they walk in the door, helping with traffic flow and ensuring patients know where to go, making glasses on our mobile eye lab (we’ll teach you, don’t worry), helping patients pick out their frames, serving food to patients and fellow volunteers, and much more. Of course, assignments are given on a first-come, first-serve basis, so there is no guarantee you will be given your first choice.
General Support is an incredible opportunity to see the many, many parts that make up a clinic, and we hope you’ll find it as incredible as we do.
For those interested in dental work who are not fourth-year dental students, you may work in the dental department doing sterilization or – if you’re into the gross stuff – handling fluid disposal. In order to work these jobs, you must have Blood Borne Pathogen Certification.
We hope to see you at our next clinic!
What RAM Volunteers Are Saying
What a wonderful organization! I recently volunteered for the first time and Lord willing, will be volunteering for years to come. It was such a blessing to be a part of this amazing crew and to help, even in a small way, people who need it. If you’ve never worked with them, jump right in! You will not regret it.
I was a volunteer with a of a group of Dental Laboratory Technicians that made flippers for the dental patients this last weekend at the RAM Event in Seattle, Washington. This was the most powerful and overwhelming thing that I have ever been a part of in my life. To see the gratefulness of the patients, and be a part of a life changing experience for them was wonderful. So many patients were crying tears of joy, and 1 patient was so grateful, that he came back as a volunteer.
These people are the real deal. They are some of the most compassionate, dedicated people! They truly care about the people they serve, as well as their volunteers. Loved working with everyone on their team!!