A crucial component of Bethesda’s volunteer model is the more than 220 primary care and specialist physicians who provide the working uninsured with access to high-quality health-care services. Moreover, physician involvement in the clinic provides affordable health-care services to Bethesda’s patient population. Physicians are willing to volunteer their services when their participation is approved by affiliated hospitals.
Coming from all walks of life, nonmedical volunteers freely contribute their time and skills to perform tasks critical to Bethesda’s everyday operations, including clerical, patient admission, and language interpretation.
The purpose of the Bethesda Alliance is to support and promote Bethesda Health Clinic, and to function as a fundraising and volunteer service group. Women who volunteer at the Clinic may also get involved through the Bethesda Alliance.
Medical Positions: Physicians, Specialists, Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners Nurses, Nurses Aid, Technicians, Dentist, Dental Hygienist
Non-medical/Non-dental Positions: Receptionist, Patient Admission, Clerical, Writer, Graphic Designer, Social Media Expert and Spanish Interpreter
Faith Community Positions: Patient Advocate, Prayer Warrior
Church Outreach Opportunities: Saturday Clinics
Clerical: Support the clinic by reducing the administrative workload. Answer the phone. Make appointment reminder calls. Make copies. Conduct mailing and filing projects. Medical data entry involves entering medical information into the patient’s electronic chart. General data entry involves entering other data. Scanning involves the process of incorporating paper documents into the patient’s electronic medical record. General word processing to create correspondence, forms, reports and other documents. Please note: Not all clerical work requires an individual to have computer skills.
Writer: Compose articles for the newsletter and other publications. Interview patients and volunteers. Help to promote community awareness through publications and public relations.
Social Media: A strong, demonstrable passion for all things digital. A deep experience working with social media tools. Strong appetite for experimenting with new social platforms. Attention to detail and the ability to meet deadlines. Outstanding communication skills. Ability to work well in a collaborative environment. Comfortable with change and willingness to adapt to the constant flow of information and the evolution of third-party sites and tools.
Receptionist: Greet and tag-in clients. Enter information in electronic medical record. Answer the phone. Training provided.
Admission: Assess potential patients. Conduct initial interview. Create patient files. Answer questions and furnish information about services and resources. Training provided.
Interpreter: Assist Spanish-speaking patients in all aspects of medical services, including helping physicians and nurses with translating in the examination room. Training provided.
Faith Community Positions
This past year, Bethesda interviewed 64 of its most poorly controlled patients to determine their true barriers to proper disease management and medication compliance. What we learned was the problem with “non-compliance” was not about access to medications or an inability to follow a diet plan; it was about emotional and spiritual struggles. These patients expressed hopelessness with their challenging personal lives, a lack of joy, and a lack of loving and supportive relationships. These depressed emotional states result in patients who have little or no interest or motivation to change their life styles to become healthier.
As a Christian-based organization, we value people and recognize their worth in God’s eyes, regardless of their physical or emotional condition. Our goal is not only to treat the patient’s medical condition, but to be God’s hands and feet here on earth, reaching out to each patient in love and acceptance, attempting to help meet their total needs–physical, social, emotional and spiritual. Our treatment philosophy is never to make a patient feel bad about not taking their medication. Rather, our belief is that when a patient feels valued and cared for–when they regain a sense of hope and joy–they will be more motivated to work toward better physical health.
To achieve this, the staff and many of the volunteers (both doctors/nurses and lay community members) are Christian and are available to provide spiritual support to patients as requested. We also have a group of Patient Advocates—lay people with strong Christian beliefs from various churches in the community–who are specifically assigned to this task and are available during clinic hours or by phone to assist patients with various non-medical needs.
Patient Advocate: Act on behalf of the patient by providing assistance, information, support and/or referrals. Interact with patients in waiting room. Training provided.
Prayer Warrior: Take prayer requests from clinic’s mailbox and pray for these individuals. Also, as a group, pray for patients, volunteers and staff.