Frequently Asked Questions
The free clinic is able to continually offer services free of charge to the community largely because of the generous support of volunteers, and here at SHAMS Clinic, we understand that volunteering is a two-way street. While we gain immense support for our mission by having a dedicated corps of volunteers, you will also gain something in return, be it skills, experience or personal fulfillment. Rest assured that before your first day, we will work hard to ensure that each applicant is placed in a role that meets the needs of SHAMS clinic and is a good fit for the volunteer.
Above all else, volunteers are expected to uphold the mission and philosophy of SHAMS Clinic. They are also expected to maintain client confidentiality, treat all clients with the utmost respect and compassionate care, and maintain professionalism at all times.
Opportunities and Qualifications
- Are there opportunities available where I can get experience working directly with patients?
- Are all volunteer positions filled on a rolling basis?
- How will I know which volunteer positions are available?
- Do I have to be licensed or trained in medicine to volunteer?
- Do I have to be licensed in the state of Pennsylvania if I am a licensed professional?
- What kind of time commitment is needed to volunteer?
- Are there opportunities for individuals to volunteer once for done-in-a-day projects?
- Does SHAMS Clinic extend liability coverage to volunteers?
Yes. We are always looking for individuals who are professionally licensed to provide services to our patients. Furthermore, we have opportunities available for those who are not trained or licensed to gain experience in a direct service capacity. Among our “no experience necessary” roles, volunteers can serve as Intake Workers, Patient Assistant Program helper, and answering telephone calls etc.
Most volunteer positions are filled on a rolling or as-needed basis because training is on-the-job.
On the application, volunteers are asked to indicate which positions they are interested in. We will explore the availability of the positions you selected as well as others that might match what you are looking for during your service. If you have specific questions about availability prior to applying, contact our office manager
No. SHAMS Clinic has an immense need for volunteers who are not trained or licensed in medicine, and we have a plethora of “no experience necessary” roles available, which vary from providing direct service to helping out behind the scenes with the tasks that help SHAMS Clinic run from day to day.
You could also help out in other nonclinical programs like our essentials pantry and back to school.
Yes. To serve in a clinical capacity without supervision, you must be licensed in the State of Pennsylvania.
It takes a great deal of time and energy to effectively train SHAMS Clinic volunteers. Because of this, most positions at The Free Clinic request a minimum length of service, which varies from three months to one year depending on the role. We especially appreciate long-term service since it ensures consistency for our patients. As a prospective volunteer, try to honestly evaluate your ability to commit prior to signing up for a role.
Yes. If you are interested in a one-time project, please contact our office manager. Depending on the needs of SHAMS Clinic at the time, we will likely be able to utilize volunteers. In the past, volunteers participating in one-time projects have helped with health fairs, fundraising projects, assisting with data entry, among others incredibly helpful tasks.
Yes. The Free Clinic extends its liability coverage for all lay level volunteers and individually licensed providers. A certificate of liability coverage can be produced upon request.
Once you become a free Clinic Volunteer
Yes. As a professional health care facility, SHAMS Clinic maintains a business casual dress code, and as a representative of the clinic, a volunteer’s attire should be appropriate to the role the volunteer performs and should not be a distraction to the services provided
Scrubs are allowed if providing direct care to patients. Shorts and flip-flops are not permissible, and jeans are acceptable.
Yes. We love to write a proof of service or recommendations for our valued volunteers! If you have served 25 hours or 3 months with us, contact our office, and we will work with your volunteer supervisor to pen a letter on your behalf.