Remote Access Medical

  1. Has anybody ever volunteered with RAM? If so, please tell me about your experience.

    I signed-up for a clinic in a couple of weeks, and I'm rethinking my decision to attend. First, I had to call their office twice to get any orientation information about the clinic.

    Secondly, I was told I have to provide my own blood pressure cuff and that volunteers don't wear gloves while taking vital signs. That's fine because hand sanitizer is available. But I asked how we are cleaning the cuff in between patients and got no response.

    My facility requires us to clean the cuff between ALL patients. I can't imagine doing vitals on hundreds of patients and not cleaning the cuff.

    I am already driving four hours to volunteer and paying for my own hotel expenses. Can't they at least provide equipment?

    Am I making too much out of this? Advise please!
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    About Lil Nel, RN

    Joined: May '16; Posts: 3,032; Likes: 11,851


  3. by   Extra Pickles
    I saw a great documentary on RAM on Netflix. If you can, take a look! I was super impressed by the smoothly run organization, it's a MASSIVE undertaking, 100% volunteer supported.

    Of course any documentary made to promote anything is going to be spun favorably but I think the work these people do is incredible.

    Can't imagine it'd be a big deal to have a plastic tub of disinfectant wipes at your station to use between patients. AT least that's what I'd do.
  4. by   herring_RN
    I have volunteered. It was very rewarding. In one day I saw more people with toothaches than in my entire previous life.
    The patients were so grateful.
    They have their own was of doing things as they have done in the years before so many antibiotic resistant infections.

    For your peace of mind bring what you want to clean your sphygmomanometer between patients. Most likely you will be doing basic screening, which they call triage, to determine whether a person is well enough to have dental work done.
    We found people with very high BP. They have their own standard procedure for that. The person is given a banana or other fruit and a bottle of water. Most had been up all night waiting, often in pain. Sometimes sitting and having a snack brings the BP down. If not the person will see a physician or NP for BP treatment. .

    Diabetes, cancer, and hypertension were diagnosed at the three I've worked.
    Commonly people with health insurance, including Medicare came to see a dentist because they had no dental insurance and no money to pay.
    Many had full time jobs, big families, and painful teeth.
    My son's mother-in law, a dental hygienist came with me the first time. The second two she came on a weekend with the dentist she works for. They are both proud of being able to help so many thankful people.

    Truly, if your patients don't appreciate you the RAM patients almost surely will.
    Volunteer - Remote Area Medical
    Last edit by herring_RN on Mar 24, '17 : Reason: typo