Dear Volunteer:

We want to welcome you as a new volunteer of the Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center, Inc.  The free clinic, counseling and social services is made possible through the generous support of our member churches, grants donations and the gracious help of time and talent by volunteers like you. God has placed many blessings on this ministry and your help is fulfilling His command for us to witness His love and healing touch.

Nothing is more important to our success than God’ guidance and the dedication and effort of our volunteers; therefore, this handbook has been prepared for you and will acquaint you with the philosophies, policies and procedures of Helping Hands.

To those who are newcomers, we welcome you and trust you will find your volunteer experience with Helping Hands rewarding.  We hope you will all find the challenges of running a free clinic rewarding and part of your personal ministry to serve our Lord.

Thank you for your willingness to serve your God and to provide a valuable service for the under-served of Central Ohio.  This is a great commission and a wonderful adventure, so welcome aboard!

If at any time you have questions, please call one of the team advisors listed with the board members.


I want to congratulate you and thank you for choosing to be a volunteer for the Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center. In our clinic, we will see any patient who meets the guidelines of our free clinic. This means our door will be open to many persons of diverse backgrounds, nationalities, and current health statuses. It would be wise as you begin your volunteer experience to consider that some may be infectious. It is therefore my desire to alert you to the need to use universal precautions with all patients. This means:

  • Using Rubber Gloves when contacting any skin surface or mucous membrane.
  • Washing hands carefully between each examination and encounter.
  • Protecting yourself against common infectious diseases like Hepatitis B (If you have not been immunized against Hepatitis B, I recommend you receive the three-shot series)
  • Tdap and MMR vaccinations are also recommended.
  • Taking care to reduce risk of infection via respiratory exposure (common cold, chicken pox, and tuberculosis, etc.)We have seen several patients with active tuberculosis (TB). You should have a TB skin test before beginning your volunteer activities, and have it re-checked at least once per year. If your TB test becomes positive, you should consult your own personal physician immediately for treatment. I also recommend informing your personal physician of your plans to volunteer in this environment so that he/she might assist you in taking precautionary measures.There is no way to protect yourself from respiratory exposure and you will need to recognize this as one of the risks of working in a volunteer medical clinic. If a patient appears ill and potentially infectious, we will, as a matter of policy try to expedite their visit to avoid unnecessary exposure. If you see such a patient, please alert the nurse supervisor or one of the physicians.Do not allow these risks to dissuade you from participating as a volunteer. Rather, my intent is to make you aware of the need for personal protection from a potentially very ill population. Most of all enjoy your experience at Helping Hands.  You are a blessing to our patients. 




Joyce Bourgault, MSSA.

Executive Director


Riza Tady Conroy, MD.

Medical Director Helping Hands

Clinical  Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine.  OSU


Robert D. Eggleton



Rosemary Feka


George Hadler    

Vice President


Nancy Henceroth-Gatto, D.O.


Pastor Jerry Miller                                             


Stew Roberts, ESQ,



Connie Sauter


Nancy Willke, RN                                                        


Updated 9/26/12



Joyce Bourgault-Executive Director



Joy Kaye- Director of Administration


Jan Patton-Counseling Coordinator


Tina Scheer- Volunteer Coordinator


Janet Schmitt- Director of Nursing



You probably know someone, a neighbor, friend, church member, or work associate that you could name right now who does not have the resources for the medical care they need.  Many of those who started this clinic could also. In the fall of 2006, a small group of faithful servants from a gathering of several churches felt called by God to start the clinic to be the helping hands of Jesus to heal those in need.  The Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center, Inc. is a community based free medical clinic that serves the uninsured and underserved in the Central Ohio area. It is faith based and built by a multi-denominational gathering of churches in our community.

We provide health care, health education, medical specialty referrals, social services, counseling and spiritual guidance.  We also provide vision referrals, dental referrals, and Benefit Bank services with some medication assistance.  We are affiliated with the National Association of Free Clinics, the Ohio Association of Free Clinics and a group of Free Clinics in Franklin County.  We ask all to pray for God to continue to bless this work in His name.


The Mission of the Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center is to be the caring hands of Jesus to provide medical care, health education, counseling and social services to those with needs.




1.       Do the Lord’s work and share the good news of Christ with those who want to hear.

2.       Be a health and wellness center where uninsured can receive basic medical care and be referred, if necessary, with reassurance that someone will help them with getting what they need.

3.       Provide health education, social services and counseling

4.       Follow the guidelines of the National Association of Free Clinics and

The Ohio Association of Free Clinics.

5.       Reach out with ongoing communications to those in the community with needs.

6.       To open the clinic 4 times a month and offer social services and counseling.

7.       Provide training to all volunteers

8.       Build a community support base of volunteers.

9.       Build an ongoing funding basis with donations, grants, church and community support.

10.     Expand operations into other communities.


  1.  To have a facility where we can have the space to offer more services to meet the needs of clients without having to refer them to other clinics.
  2. To expand social services in the community.  To meet the needs of clients by providing job resources in the Northland area.
  3. To provide health education and prevention resources.
  4. To offer free employment or sports physicals to the uninsured.
  5. To have a full staff of nurses, nurse practitioners, MD students, pharmacy students, and dental and optometry students.

To expand collaborative relationship with other health and social services in the community.


The clinic is open one Thursday and two Friday evenings a month from 4-6 p.m., with the exception of holidays that fall on a Friday.  Doors open to receive patients at 3 p.m. Please check the official schedule posted at the clinic or on our website at www.helpinghandsfreeclinic.org. The clinic is located at 1421 Morse Rd Columbus, Ohio 43229.  All volunteers listed with email will be notified the week of each clinic.


Parking is available in the parking lot to the rear of the building. The parking lot is well lit and is equipped with security cameras but, as always, it is up to the volunteers to be responsible for awareness of their surroundings. We ask that you try to partner with someone when you leave at night from the clinic.


Physicians, various clinicians and lay persons are needed each Thursday and Friday listed on the schedule to volunteer their services. As a volunteer, you have the unique opportunity to promote the clinic to others. If you know of someone who may be interested in a rewarding volunteer opportunity, they may contact Joyce Bourgault at 262-5094.


It is the policy of Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center to ensure that the operations, activities and business affairs of Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center, Inc. and our clients are kept confidential. All information is to be handled in strict confidence and is not to be discussed with anyone outside of the organization.

As a volunteer of the Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center, you will be asked to sign a Statement of Confidentiality. By signing this statement, the volunteer agrees to maintain confidentiality of all privileged information. Failure to adhere will result in corrective action or termination of the volunteer relationship with the Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center, Inc.


Appropriateness in style of dress and behavior is essential to the efficient operation of the Helping Hands and Health Wellness Center. Volunteers are expected to exercise good judgment and common sense in matters of dress and grooming, and to consider the sensitivities and needs of others. In this way, individual freedom of choice can largely be retained but within the constraints of functioning in a diverse and heterogeneous group. Please use good judgment in your choice of clothes and remember to conduct yourself at all times in a way that best represents you and the Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center.

Volunteers are required to maintain themselves and their apparel in a clean and neat state. Footwear must be worn at all times and special items of apparel will be required in laboratories and clinical areas.

Laboratory & Clinics: Because of actual and potential biologic or physical hazards, and for reasons of professional appearance in situations where there is contact with the public, special apparel and/or footwear are required:

Physicians/Registered or Licensed Practical Nurses/Laboratory Technicians:

•        Professional attire or appropriate street clothes with a lab coat

•        Scrubs are acceptable.

•        Identification badges must be worn


•        Professional attire (clothing and footwear should be comfortable).

•        Appropriate street clothes.

•        Identification badges must be worn

•        Clothing should be clean, neat and in good repair. Torn, tattered or soiled apparel; athletic apparel; abbreviated tops and abbreviated shorts; and clothing with symbols, words or slogans that may be offensive or inappropriate are not permitted.


It is the Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center’s policy to regard sexual and other unlawful harassment as a serious matter and to prohibit it in the workplace by any person and in any form, and to provide a work environment free from all forms of sexual or other unlawful harassment or intimidation.

Employees and volunteers of Helping Hands Health and Wellness center are not required to endure insulting, degrading, or exploitative sexual harassment.  No management or supervisory personnel shall threaten or insinuate, either explicitly or implicitly, that refusal to submit to sexual advances will adversely affect the volunteer’s assigned duties, shifts or other conditions of his or her volunteer commitment.

Other sexually harassing conduct in the workplace by any personnel is also prohibited, including by not limited to:

•        Unwelcome sexual flirtations, advances, or propositions.

•        Verbal or written abuse of a sexual nature.

•        Graphic verbal comments about an individual’s body or attire.

•        Sexually, racially, or otherwise degrading words or communications used to describe an individual.

•        The display in the workplace of sexually suggestive objects or pictures.

Any volunteer who believes he or she has been harassed should report the alleged act immediately to the Executive Director.  There will be no discrimination or retaliation against any employee for making a sexual harassment complaint, and all actions taken to resolve a sexual harassment complaint through the internal investigations shall be conducted confidentially.  Any volunteer employee who is found, after appropriate investigation, to have engaged in sexual harassment will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action up to and including termination.


The 121st General Assembly passed Amended Substitute House Bill 218. This act establishes immunity from civil liability for nonprofit shelters or health care facilities and care professionals who volunteer to provide services to indigent and uninsured persons.


Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center requires all volunteers to sign a Release of Liability. This release applies to all claims, related to or arising out of the volunteer experience for Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center, Inc. The clinic also provides liability insurance for its regular medical employees and other volunteers during their work at the clinic.  This includes retired physicians.


If at any time a volunteer has a complaint regarding his/her experience at the Clinic or has concerns regarding the services provided by the Clinic, he/she should direct such complaint to the Executive Director.  All complaints and concerns are taken very serious, and the Executive Director will attempt to resolve them and/or take them to the appropriate person on the Clinic staff.  All reasonable efforts will be made to respect the confidentiality of volunteers who come forward with complaints or concerns.


Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center acknowledges the service of all volunteers with the understanding that the agreement may be terminated at any time, or any reason.  Volunteers should notify the Executive Director in a timely manner of their intent to terminate their relationship with the Clinic.


All medical volunteers should complete the immunization and infectious disease requirements prior to beginning their volunteer experience. If you have not been immunized against Hepatitis B, please consult your physician to receive the three shot series.

It is also recommended that volunteers should have a tuberculosis (TB) skin test and have it re-checked at least once per year.


Volunteers who become ill during clinic hours should report immediately to the Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center Nurse Coordinator. The Nurse Coordinator will triage and refer the volunteer to a physician for treatment.

All volunteers should maintain health insurance coverage and the cost of any treatment required will be at the expense of the volunteer’s health insurance.


Persons under the age of 18 years may volunteer at the discretion of the Helping Hands Executive Director.  A parent or guardian must sign the Release of Liability and Emergency Medical Authorization for the minor.


Position descriptions will be provided for all volunteers. During the volunteer’s first shift at the clinic, he/she will be oriented to the facility and given any necessary group or individual training to fulfill their volunteer activities. A name badge will be provided. Extensive orientation will be provided periodically.


Volunteers are required to sign-up for specific times of service, and to sign-in and out of each clinic night. This will allow the Volunteer Coordinator to prepare a schedule of available volunteers and to track volunteer involvement.


Volunteers should arrive at the clinical site on time. Please allow yourself at least ten (10) minutes prior to your scheduled shift to prepare yourself to provide your full attention to the people that the clinic serves. If you will be late or unable to attend your scheduled clinic session, it is your responsibility to contact the clinic by phone at 262-5094 or by email atinfo@helpinghandsfreeclinic.org prior to start time.


If a situation arises where there is any potential for disruptive behavior or violence, the following steps will be taken:

Remain calm.  If you feel threatened in any way, walk away. Try to be an empathetic listener. Tell the person,” I do not have an answer to your concern, let me get the Director to speak with you.”  Position yourself at a right angle from the person instead of directly in front of them.  Keep a good distance from the person and do not look them in the eye or touch them as these are threatening gestures. Do not make any sudden movements. Do not challenge, threaten or belittle the person. Position yourself so that you have immediate access to an exit.

Signal to another volunteer close to you to get the director who will call the police

If the person is demanding to see someone specific at the clinic, do not get whoever the person is wanting.  State that they are not present or that due to confidentiality, we cannot say who is present in the clinic but we will get the executive director to speak with them. If there is an actual incident, fill out an incident report with the Executive Director.

You are not responsible to diffuse any out of control patient.  Find the Executive Director and/or call the police.


It is the policy of the Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center that we maintain a safe and risk free environment for the clients and volunteers.


1.       All exits are marked clearly.

2.       In case of fire, the Clinical Director, Executive Director, or person who notices fire must ask everyone to leave the building quietly to the back parking lot.

3.       It is everyone’s responsibility to know where the exits are.

4.       Fire extinguishers will be located throughout the building and maintained per all state and local codes.

5.       All staff is responsible for reporting to their supervisor and fire safety hazards such as an oily rag stored close to a flame or storing of flammable materials in furnace rooms.

6.       Exit to parking lot behind Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center.

7.       Greeters are responsible for taking the patient sign in log.

8.       If you see a fire, notify the director or call 911. Small fires may be attended to with extinguishers in main hall by west end of windows, in the main hall by the east exit doors, the extinguisher in kitchen, in maintenance room and in the furnace room.

9.       The director will be the liaison to the fire department.

10.     The Volunteer Director or Clinical Director will call of names of volunteers and clients to account for their presence.

OSHA Compliance

It is the goal of this Clinic to provide a safe, hazard-free environment for all volunteers and employees.  To that end, we ask that all Clinic volunteers and employees comply with policies as set forth in our written infection control plan and to habitually observe all universal precautions.

Office Staff Immunization and Testing

All medical volunteers will be required to show proof of immunization against Hepatitis B.  If a volunteer is not immunized against Hepatitis B, he/she must sign a waiver of refusal.  Annual PPD testing will also be required.  Annual immunization for influenza is recommended for all volunteers.

Specimen Collection and Processing

OSHA guidelines must be strictly adhered to when handling specimens.  All specimens must be labeled with patient name and ordering doctor, and placed in the collection box in the manner required by the laboratory.  Whenever there are specimens to be retrieved, it is the responsibility of the designated volunteer to take them to Riverside lab.

Police Cases

The police should be notified, regardless of the victim’s decision whether or not to press charges, in any of the following cases: 1) any injury resulting from the discharge of a firearm; 2) any injury related to a criminal offense (whether the patient is responsible or the victim); 3) any animal bite; 4) suspected child abuse or neglect; 5) alleged sexual assault; 6) domestic abuse.  The police department of the location where the alleged incident occurred is to be notified.  If the location of the incident is unclear, notify the Columbus police.  The officer’s name and badge number should be documented in the chart.

Suspected Child or Elder Abuse or Neglect

In accordance with the laws of the State of Ohio, Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center medical professional volunteers must report all cases of suspected child abuse or neglect.  Franklin County Children’s Services (229-7000) must be notified.  If the physician determines that temporary protective custody is necessary, then it will be necessary to transport the child by ambulance to a hospital or other facility.  For a suspected case of elder abuse, notify at the proper location.

Alleged Sexual Assault

Due to the medical and legal complexity of alleged sexual assault, victims presenting with this complaint will be transferred to an emergency room for treatment and collection of specimens. The physician will decide whether the patient needs to be transported by ambulance.  In the event that the patient refuses transfer to an emergency room, it must be documented in the chart that they understand the possible consequences, including infection and lack of evidence necessary for criminal prosecution.  As discussed above, the police must be notified regardless of the patient’s decision to collect evidence or press charges. Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center’s social worker may be notified of any such cases as appropriate.

Domestic Abuse of Spouses and Partners

When a medical professional volunteer becomes aware of suspected domestic abuse of a patient, the patient must be interviewed in a private setting, and the physician must decide whether or not the medical treatment required is within the scope of services available at Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center; if not, then the patient must he transferred to an emergency room.  As discussed above, the police must be notified regardless of the patient s decision to collect evidence or press charges.  Detailed documentation of the history, including the patient’s own words, and a detailed description of the injuries, should be included in the chart.  It is incumbent upon the physician to ensure that the patient be discharged to a safe environment.  The Witness Assistance Program may also be called.  Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center social worker will be notified of any such cases of domestic abuse for their input and management.

Patient Occurrences

Occurrences involving patients that adversely affect the health or comfort of the patients, or that involve the quality of services provided should be reported in writing to the Executive Director.  Occurrences requiring a report include:

1)      Personal injury (real or suspected) due to accidents;

2)      Patient falls;

3)      Medication errors-real or suspected;

4)      Incorrect labeling of specimens;

5)      Patient identification errors; or

6)      Equipment failure.

It is important that such occurrences be promptly reported to the Executive Director so that measures may be taken in an expeditious fashion to prevent injury and future occurrences.  The written report is to be handed directly to the Executive Director and is not to be duplicated by anyone.

On-The-Job Accidents

When an employee or volunteer worker is injured while working, the occurrence is to be reported to the Executive Director, who with the volunteer will together complete an “Accident Report.”

The Following is related to Medical Personnel- all other volunteers resume at pg.25

Exposure Control


Medical volunteers will attend a general orientation.  An important part of this orientation will be the exposure control plan, drawing on information derived from the OSHA Blood borne Pathogen Standard.  Also included will be a discussion regarding the Hepatitis B vaccination policy, guidelines for personal protective equipment (see below), post-exposure protocols (see below), and the medical waste management plan.

Exposure Control Plan


Occupational Exposure to Blood borne Pathogens: Final Rule 29 CFR Part 1910.1030, effective March 6, 1992.


To provide guidelines and procedures designed to prevent or minimize the occupational exposure of volunteers to blood borne pathogens; these are to be used as an adjunct to universal precautions, which should be observed during all patient contact.  Also, to ensure compliance with the applicable provisions of 29 CFR Part 1910.1030.


Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center is responsible to communicate the methods of exposure control, and to maintain personal protective equipment, to provide volunteer training, to maintain a sanitary working environment, to inquire regarding Hepatitis B vaccination, to provide post-exposure follow-up of volunteers for tracking purposes only, to maintain the required records, and to ensure volunteer compliance with all the provisions of the exposure control plan.  It is the responsibility of the volunteer to comply with all provisions of the exposure control plan.

Definition of Terms


Universal precautions are observed in all patient-care procedures to prevent contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials.

Engineering controls will be instituted whenever and wherever practical.  Examples include: mechanical needle-removal devices and sharps containers.

The safe handling of sharps is essential.  Recapping of needles using two hands is prohibited.  Removal of needles from syringes by hand is prohibited.  If recapping or removing contaminated needles from syringes must be done as required by the dental or medical procedure, it must be done by mechanical means such as the use of forceps, or using a one-handed scoop technique.  The safe handling of any contaminated sharps includes: no skin contact with contaminated sharps; contaminated sharps must not be bent or broken; sharps must be retrieved from disinfecting solution with tongs; broken glass must he collected mechanically (e.g., with broom not by hand); all contaminated sharps must be disposed of in rigid, puncture resistant containers that are red or labeled with the biohazard sign; sharps containers must be removed prior to becoming full, and then disposed of correctly after careful sealing; reusable sharps containers must be disinfected on a regular basis, or whenever visibly contaminated with blood or other potentially infectious materials.

Safe work practices are to be adhered to carefully.  Hand washing facilities are available in all rooms where patient contact or diagnostic testing takes place.  Volunteers must wash their hands as soon as possible after removing their gloves or other personal protective equipment.

Hand washing:

•        Immediately or as soon as feasible after skin contact with blood or body fluid

•        Between patient / resident contacts

•        Before and after procedures / treatments

•        After glove removal or other PPE removal

•        Between tasks/ procedures for the same patient / resident to prevent cross contamination of different body sites


1.       Adjust water to desired temperature.

2.       Wet hands thoroughly and apply 3-5ml antimicrobial soap.

3.       Wash all hand / finger surfaces for 10 seconds, paying particular attention to nails and finger crevices.

4.       Rinse thoroughly.

5.       Dry with paper towels.

6.       Use dry paper towel to turn off faucets.  Discard used towels in waste container.

Volunteers are not permitted to eat, drink, smoke, apply cosmetics or lip balm, or handle contact lenses in exam rooms or the nurse’s station.  Volunteers are not permitted to keep food or drink in storage area or refrigerator in a place where blood or other potentially infectious materials are present.  Universal precautions will be used when handling all patient specimens.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided to personnel at risk of occupational exposure, and will be appropriate to the task being performed.  PPE must prevent blood and other potentially infectious materials from coming into contact with skin, eyes, mucous membranes, undergarments, or street clothes of the volunteer under normal conditions of use, and for the duration of time the PPE will be used.  Examples include: gloves, gowns, aprons, masks with shields, and masks.

Disposable PPE that fits the definition of regulated waste will be discarded in a red plastic bag that displays the biohazard symbol and word.  In all patient-care and nurse’s station areas, surfaces will be cleaned and decontaminated by the health care volunteer after contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials.  Contaminated work surfaces will be decontaminated with a tuberculocidal hospital approved disinfectant immediately or as soon as is feasible following contamination.  All bins, pails, or other receptacles intended for reuse and having a reasonable likelihood of becoming contaminated with blood or other potentially infectious materials will be inspected at the time of regular waste removal and decontaminated monthly and whenever visibly contaminated.

Emergency Response Safety Kit (Spill Kit)

1.       Wear disposable gloves when potential for exposure to body fluids exists.

2.       Put on face mask and eye protection to prevent splashing, spraying, etc. of potentially contaminated fluid on the face.

3.       Wear protective garments where soilage of personnel clothing is likely to occur.

4.       Properly discard used kit components, potentially contaminated kit bag and other soiled materials by placing in the Bio-hazard disposal bag and seal with tie-band.  Dispose in red plastic biohazard bag.

5.       For personal hygiene, use antiseptic wipe and/or gel.

6.       To clean-up spills, wear personal protective equipment, sprinkle the Isolyser powder onto the liquid.  Allow 5 to 10 minutes for the liquid to solidify.  Use the plastic scoop to pick-up the solidified liquid and dispose of properly.

7.       Spoiled hard surfaces can be cleaned with disinfectant spray.  Read container for specific instructions and cautions.


Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center will maintain an accurate medical record for each volunteer including occupational exposures for tracking purposes only.  This record will include information regarding the volunteer’s Hepatitis B immunization status, TB testing status, influenza immunization status. Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center will ensure that this record is kept confidential, and thus will not be disclosed or reported without the volunteer’s express written consent to any person within or outside the workplace, except as required by the OSHA Standard, or as may be required by law. The employer will maintain the records for at least the duration of volunteerism plus 5 years.

Post-Exposure Protocols



•        Volunteers who work with blood or other potentially infectious materials shall be advised that they should notify their health insurance carriers of their volunteer activities involving blood borne pathogenic materials.  Neither Helping Hands Health nor Wellness Center will not fund post-exposure follow-up procedures or treatments should the volunteer become exposed to blood borne pathogens.  All volunteers must sign the Infectious Exposure Policy for Medical/Dental Volunteers prior to volunteering in Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center.

•        Appropriate medical care should be sought to treat the wound, including thorough cleansing.

•        Post-exposure procedure for clinic volunteers will involve statistical tracking of incidents only and will not involve medical follow-up of the volunteer’s medical condition in reference to the exposure to blood borne pathogens.

•        Volunteers who work with blood or other potentially infectious materials shall be required to pay for HBV vaccination.  Prior to participating in any tasks which may result in exposure, the volunteer will provide written proof of vaccinations or a signed refusal of vaccination.

•        Tuberculosis (TB) screening will not be provided by Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center for clinic volunteers.  To prevent the spread of TB to staff, other volunteers, or clients, all clinic volunteers shall provide Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center with proof of TB screening and results.  TB screening must have been completed within the past year.  The Columbus Department of Health may be contacted for recommendations regarding any positive TB screening results and potential volunteering at Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center.  Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center will not fund post-exposure follow-up procedures or treatments should the volunteer become exposed to TB.  If a volunteer has been exposed to TB via a clinic client, the volunteer will be referred to the Columbus Department of Health or their private physician for follow-up screening and possible treatment.  Post-TB exposure procedure for Clinic volunteers will involve statistical tracking of incidents only and will not involve medical follow-up of the volunteer’s medical condition in reference to the exposure to TB.

•        An “Unusual Incident Report” and Sharps Injury Log, if applicable, must be completed for tracking purposes

Clinic Staff and Volunteer Sharps Injury Log

A Sharps Injury Log is maintained by Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center showing needle sticks of Clinic volunteers.  The types of devices involved are also listed with each needle stick.

FM/LSS Safety Committee

The FM/LSS Safety Committee will review each occurrence of reported exposure of staff or volunteers.  Review will consist of what contributed to the exposure.  The identity of the staff or volunteer will not be identified.

Waste Management Plan


Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center has developed a waste management plan in order to maintain a cost-effective approach to the management of waste, to provide a safe environment for all volunteers, employees and patients, and to assure waste is handled in accordance with prescribed guidelines and regulations.  It will be the responsibility of the Executive Director, Medical Director and Clinical Director to ensure that the guidelines provided below are adhered to and to recommend prudent changes of policy.

Potentially Infectious Medical Waste (PIMW)

Potentially Infectious Medical Waste (PIMW) is defined:

•        Any solid or liquid waste which may present a threat of infection to humans.  Examples include:

•        Non-liquid tissue from humans

•        Laboratory waste which contains human disease-causing agents

•        Discarded sharps

•        Blood, blood products and body fluids from humans

•        Body fluids – those fluids which have the potential to harbor pathogens such as HIV and HBV and include lymph, semen, vaginal secretions, suctioned product, menses, cerebrospinal, synovial, pleural, peritoneal, pericardial, amniotic fluids and saliva in dental procedures.  In instances where identification of the fluid is difficult, it shall be considered to be a regulated body fluid.

The following are also included:

•        Used absorbent materials saturated with blood, body fluids, or excretions or secretions contaminated with blood (absorbent materials include items such as bandages, gauzes and sponges)

•        Used absorbent materials saturated with blood or blood products that have dried (absorbent materials includes items such as bandages, gauzes and sponges)

•        Non-absorbent disposable devices that have been contaminated with blood, body fluids or blood contaminated secretions or excretions and have not been sterilized or disinfected by an approved method.

These materials must all be handled following the guidelines of universal precautions.

Body fluids to which universal precautions do not apply (unless they are visibly contaminated with blood, or you are aware that they are contaminated with a potentially infectious material) include: sputum, sweat, nasal secretions, feces, tears, vomits’, and urine.

Handling of Waste:

PIMW.  Gloves should be worn when handling PIMW.  Gowns should be worn when clothing could become contaminated with PIMW, and face shield with mask should be worn when there is a chance for splattering of fluids.  PIMW should be placed in a red bag or a puncture resistant container marked with the biohazard sign as close to the source as possible.  Such a receptacle must be present in every room where there is the potential for generation of PIMW.

Sharps.  Disposable syringes, needles, scalpel blades, and other sharp items should be placed in puncture-resistant containers.  These containers should be in every room where there is potential for use.  When the sharps containers are full (but not overfull, as it is not acceptable to remove items in order to close), they are to be sealed shut before transport for disposal.  Sharps are never to be disposed of in the regular trash or red plastic bags.

Chemically Hazardous Waste.  Any hazardous chemicals must be clearly labeled as such and must always be kept in a safe place and well-sealed.  Extreme care will be taken in the handling of such chemicals.  At a minimum, gloves should be worn when handling chemicals.

Physically Hazardous Waste.  (Any item that is not PIMW, radioactive, chemically hazardous waste that during transport, use, or disposal could pose a potential health risk to patient, volunteer, or employee)  Non-contaminated sharps are to be placed in puncture-proof containers; any other materials will be handled as directed by manufacturer.  At a minimum, gloves should be worn when handling such waste.

Solid Waste   (any non-contaminated trash that through normal handling and use would not pose a health risk) Gloves at a minimum should be worn when handling solid waste.  If the potential for splattering is present, then goggles, mask, and/or gown should be worn as well.  Caution should be exercised when handling solid waste because improper disposal of contaminated or sharp waste can render such waste very hazardous to the volunteer.  Bags should be carried away from the body, and one must never use hands or feet to compress trash in a waste container.

Waste Disposal

Solid waste can be disposed of in the usual fashion, being placed in a dumpster and then transported to a licensed sanitary landfill.  Special arrangements with a licensed waste hauler will be made for the disposal of PIMW, hazardous chemicals, and physically hazardous waste.

Environmental Surface Cleaning


1.       All surfaces that came in contact with patients/residents including chairs, counters, and examination table shall be cleaned with disinfectant at the end of each clinic session or after each patient/resident if the surface was LIKELY contaminated by blood or body fluids.

2.       If surfaces, equipment, and other items (such as light handles or trays) have been protected with coverings (such as plastic wrap or foil), these materials must be replaced when contaminated or at the end of the work shift.

3.       Reusable receptacles such as bins, pails, and cans that have a

likelihood for becoming contaminated, must be inspected and decontaminated on a regular basis and when visibly contaminated.

4.       Equipment that has had contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials and serviced either on-site or shipped out of the Clinic for maintenance or other service must be decontaminated to the extent feasible or labeled as a biohazard indicating which parts were not able to be decontaminated.

General Spill Cleanup Procedure

When a spill occurs, it is very important to identify the type of substance spilled and to follow the appropriated guidelines for that substance.  The immediate response to a spill is to remove everyone from danger.  Next, notify other personnel that the spill has occurred.  When the spill is contained, initiate the appropriate cleanup procedures for that type of spill.  It is the responsibility of the person involved in the spill for the initial cleanup, and then it is the responsibility of the medical/dental volunteer or the Clinic Manager to complete the cleanup (including disinfection with Precise solution, if necessary) at the next practical opportunity.  If the spill will involve a complicated cleanup procedure, then the room will not be used the remainder of the session, and the cleanup will occur when the last patient has been seen.  Finally, any spill involving PIMW must be reported the Medical director.

PPE Program


Equipment (PPE)

Definitions:          Gloves, gowns, masks, goggles, and various eye, face, head, hair or foot shields or coverings.

Indications:         PPE shall be worn/used during patient/resident care procedures or during patient contact activities when it is LIKELY that contact may be made with blood or body fluids including microorganisms transmitted by contact, or droplets, or airborne.

Personal Protective Equipment must not allow blood or other potentially infectious materials to pass through to workers’ clothing, skin, or mucous membranes.

The selection of appropriate PPE depends on the quantity and type of exposure expected.  Gloves, clinic jackets, lab coats, disposable gowns, and the combination of masks with eye protection must be worn whenever splashes, spray, spatter, or droplets of blood or other infectious materials may be generated.

•        Wear appropriate gloves when contact with blood, mucous membranes, on-intact skin, or potentially infectious materials is anticipated; when performing vascular access procedures; and when handling or touching contaminated items or surfaces.

•        Replace disposable, single-use gloves as soon as possible when contaminated or if torn, punctured, or barrier function is compromised.

•        Use full face shields or face masks with eye protection, goggles, or eye glasses with side shields when splashes of blood and other bodily fluids may occur and when contamination of the eyes, nose, or mouth can be anticipated.

•        Cotton or cotton/polyester clinic jackets or lab coats are usually satisfactory barriers for routine dental procedures.  Clinic jackets, lab coats, gowns, and other protective clothing and equipment must be removed immediately or as soon as feasible when penetrated by blood or other infectious materials, and prior to leaving the work area.


1.       All disposable PPE shall be patient specific, removed

Immediately after use, AND discarded in trash receptacles.

2.       Grossly or obviously contaminated PPE shall be placed in

red plastic biohazard bags found in metal trash receptacles in each examination room and nurses’ station.

3.       Do not reuse disposable (single-use) gloves.

4.       Using clean gloves, the red plastic biohazard bags shall be

knotted, closed and discarded in The Clinic’s biohazard bo

Volunteers are responsible for:

•        wearing PPE as required;

•        attending required PPE training sessions;

•        caring for and maintaining PPE as required; and

•        informing the Medical Director when PPE needs to be replaced.

Helping Hands Health & Wellness Center

Volunteer Duties

It is the responsibility of all volunteers to sign in and sign out every evening as well as to sign up for the next two clinics they will attend.


•        Smile and portray welcoming attitude

•        Greet people as they come in

•        Have each person sign in on one of 5 appropriate sign-in sheets with reason for coming in- make sure name is legible and if not, ask for clarification.  When sign in sheet has 10 names go to admissions, copy sheet and give to admissions.

•        Be observant of any special needs (i.e. very ill or need wheelchair, need interpreter, etc).  Let interpreters know that they have a patient when interpreter arrives.

•        Inform of refreshments, bathrooms, and that prayer is available if desired

•        First time patients – provide with forms to fill out and explain to them that once completed to hold on to forms until their name is called – at that time someone will go over paper work with them at the admissions desk

•        Give all patients a teal clipboard with blank paper to write down questions and responses.


•        Smile and portray welcoming attitude

•        Call patients and help complete paper work as needed

•        Ensure that each patient meets requirements for free clinic (no insurance and income level at 200% of poverty level)

•        Create patient chart if new patient

•        If returning patient, pull old chart

•        Direct them to the nurse waiting area and inform that their number will be called again when the nurse is ready for them

•        Attach corresponding number to chart and forward chart to nurse assessment area

•        Head admissions coordinator faxes referrals to outside resources


February 17, 2011


•        Doors to the clinic usually open at 3pm.

•        Patients register at the greeter desk in the order that they come into the clinic.

•        The greeter gives the patients forms to complete for personal and medical information as well as a release.

•        Once the patients have completed the forms, they are called by admissions to open a chart and review the forms.

•        The patient is called in the order that they signed in.  The sign in sheet is at the greeters desk.

•        Put a check mark by the patients name to show that they have been seen.

•        The charts can be found on the table.

•        The chart should contain a patient medication record on the left side and clinic notes on the right side.

•        The visit note and discharge instructions should be loose in the chart.  Print patients name on  the side of the chart,(last name first)

•        Print patients name on all forms that require the name.

•        Review the registration and health history form and the household information form.

•        Make sure the date is at the top of the forms and patients name, address and phone number legible.

•        Ask if they reside in Columbus or are in another city or county.

•        Review the Authorization for Treatment and Release of Information to ensure that they understand it.  Sign your name as a witness.

•        Make sure they have completed the Acknowledgement of Receipt.

•        Once this process is completed ask patient to go back and wait for nurse to call them.

•        The admission person will punch two holes at the top of the paperwork that was just reviewed.

•        Remove clinic note and put the Acknowledgement of Receipt at the bottom of chart.

•        Then put in the Authorization for Treatment and Release of information.

•        Chart can then be put in the doctors box.  The chart always goes behind any chart that is already in the box.



•        Patient will be brought back to the admission table by someone from the pharmacy or a discharge nurse.

•        Make sure that all medications are listed on the Patient Medication Record.

•        If patient has prescriptions, make copies of them.

•        Give the originals back to patient and place the copy underneath the Patient Medication Record on the left side of chart.

•        Make a copy of the discharge instructions, give the original back to patient.

•        Place the discharge notice on the right side behind the clinical notes, registration and health history and household information.

•        Place the visit notes on top of the discharge notice but behind the 3 other forms.


Left Side of Chart

•        Top page is Patient Medication Record

•        Next, copies of prescriptions, most recent copies go on top of old copies

•        Lab Results Form

•        Lab Results go behind the Lab Results Form

Right Side of Chart

•        Top page is Clinical Notes

•        2nd page is Registration and Health History

•        3rd page is Household Information

•        Next is the visit note

•        Discharge instructions go behind the visit notes

•        All new information is always place on top of previous information

•        Authorization for treatment and release of information is the 2nd page from the

•        bottom of chart

•        Acknowledgement of Receipt is the last page of chart

Nurse Assessment:

•        Arrive 30 minutes prior to clinic start time.  Sign in and obtain name badge.

•        Set up medical supplies and equipment prior to clinic

•        Smile and portray welcoming attitude

•        Call patient by name.  Exceptions to this order may be made by physician, admissions, or designated assessment nurse.

•        Complete Nurse Assessment portion of Visit Note, including vital signs, complaints, history, and review any other needs.

•        Be sure to review medications, and assess for any educational needs, personal needs, etc.

•        Be sure to sign patient record and include title

•        Remind them that prayer is available if desired; be willing to offer prayer if appropriate

•        Show to MD waiting area and inform that their number will be called when the Dr. is ready to see them

•        Place chart in designated location for Physician Assistant.

Physician Assistant:

•        Smile and portray welcoming attitude

•        Direct patients to exam room as rooms become available

•        When MD is done with patient, quickly ready room for next patient, ensuring continuous flow of patients

•        Assist MD as requested by MD such as house testing, medications, education, etc. – may refer patient back to nurse assessment or social worker

•        Remind about prayer option

•        After physician has finished working with patient, document discharge or follow-up plan, verify that all signatures are present, and return chart to designated location.

•        Document supplies used

Community Resources/Social Services

Patients will come to Social Worker from Nursing or Admissions.

Complete needs assessment form to assess the following needs.

•        Assist needs as resources are available

•        Food & clothing assistance

•        Utilities, rent

•        Child heath assistance

•        Employment

•        Housing

•        Public health assistance

•        Special referrals

•        ESL

Contact Resource or give client resource information for them to follow up.

Follow up with clients on whether needs were met.

Education by Nursing or Volunteer Teacher

Provide necessary education and resource material for patients according to Doctors order about the following illnesses:

•        Diabetes

•        B/P

•        Weight loss

•        Smoking

•        Respiratory

Other resource information will be available through web sites.  Training for this will be provided by computer programmers.

Prayer Team

Provide the following services to all who request spiritual guidance.

•        Pastoral care

•        Prayer

•        Reading materials


•        Arrive 15 minutes prior to clinic beginning.

•        Verify that your name/title is on the sign-in sheet

•        Check with staff to see if any triage decisions need to be made

•        See patients in exam rooms and decide treatment based on Helping Hands Health and Wellness Centers formulary

•        Document patient visit and treatment on Visit Note and Clinical notes.  Verify that all notes are signed.

•        Remind patient that prayer is available if desired

•        Return chart to Physician Assistant for final discharge

•        Keep medical director or nurse manager informed of any problems or concerns

•        Submit yearly PPD results

Printable Verison Volunteer Handbook

The Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center is a member of the Ohio Association of Free Clinics and The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics

Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization

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