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Volunteering As a Dental Professional

Staffed by over 100 volunteer dental professionals, the Dental Section utilizes oral surgeons, general dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants and other dental professionals to serve hundreds of patients in need each clinic day. The Dental Section consists of up to 68 dental chairs divided into three main sections: Hygiene, Restorative, and Surgery. 

All patients are initially screened in Medical Triage where a medical history, vital signs, blood glucose, current medications and allergies are documented on their dental form.
From Medical Triage, most patients are escorted (by a general volunteer) to Dental X-ray where they receive a panorex, bilateral bite wings and anterior periapical films. A few patients may request hygiene only and skip radiographs.

Patients are then escorted to Dental Triage where a preliminary treatment plan is documented on their dental form. From Dental Triage, the patient is escorted to Oral Surgery, Restorative or Hygiene where each practitioner determines a final treatment plan.

The Dental Section is equipped with all of the appropriate PPE, and armamentarium that you would normally have in private practice. CareForce supplies disposable gloves, masks, face shields and gowns. Please feel free to bring your own disposable items if you require anything specific. 

An ACLS paramedic team and van is stationed adjacent to the Dental Section during all hours of its operation. There is also a medical emergency equipment station within the confines of the clinic which contains an eye wash station, oxygen tank with masks and ambu bag, an AED, B.P. cuffs, stethoscopes, a first aid kit and both children and adult Epi pens.

X-ray information: X-ray techs will find easy to use, updated digital panoramic machines donated by Patterson Dental. All bitewing and periapical films are taken with digital sensors and Nomad handheld units. Snap-a-Ray and Uni-Grip holders are supplied. All films are printed and uploaded by the techs to CareForce computers as the permanent record.  

Hygiene information: As a dental hygiene volunteer at CCF, you will see a wide variety of patients, all with very different periodontal needs. As a dental hygiene professional, you have the autonomy to determine what treatments your patient’s will need that day. We do recommend limiting treatment times to under 40 minutes per patient, due to a high volume of patients that need treatment at these clinics. For patients who need more extensive scaling and root planning procedures, we recommend doing what you can with the given time, and referring those patients to local clinics or dental hygiene schools for further treatment needs.

CCF provides all of its dental hygiene volunteers with access to top of the line equipment, in order to provide the best care possible to our patients. Each individual hygienist has their own section to work from, that you are able to customize and set up however you would like to make things comfortable for you. The provider chairs at the clinic are plastic folding chairs and therefore cannot be lowered or raised, so some hygienists prefer to bring their own chair to use from their private practice, or they prefer to stand. However, the patient chair CAN be raised or lowered for your comfort.

Hygienists will find an outstanding and comprehensive assortment of high-quality instruments and supplies at a well-organized, labeled buffet table. This includes Hu-Friedy Swerve Ultrasonic units and tips, Hu-Friedy hand instrument set-ups (Nevi 4, Barnhardt 5/6, mouth mirrors, explorers and Perio probes) as well as additional curettes and graceys if needed. A variety of local anesthetic and cetacaine liquid syringes. A well-organized “buffet” table is stocked with fluoride varnish, GreenLeaf and other suction devices, gauze, cotton rolls, polishing paste, prophy cups, etc. We make sure our instruments are in good condition, and that we have an appropriate quantity so you will never have to go without an instrument that you may need. In addition, you will have access to local/topical anesthetics to use as needed.

Restorative information: Dental Assistants (RDAEF, RDA, and DA) will work collaboratively with a Dentist performing restorative procedures including composite and amalgam fillings. Assistants will be responsible for setting up and break down the treatment room, setting-up the procedural tray, and associated equipment e.g., light cure and provide patient education.

Please note- The provider chairs at the clinic are plastic folding chairs and therefore cannot be lowered or raised. Some providers prefer to bring their own chair to use from their private practice, or stand. However, the patient chair CAN be raised or lowered for your comfort.

Oral Surgery information: The Oral Surgeon will find an outstanding and comprehensive assortment of high quality and diverse surgical instruments and supplies at a well-organized, labeled buffet table. A large array of maxillary and mandibular forceps, elevators, local anesthetics, suture materials, as well as hemostatic agents, Oral Pathology biopsy kits, electric surgical units, handpieces and burrs are all available for use.*

Medications are available to be prescribed and given to the patients upon discharge. These medications include: amoxicillin, clindamycin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Narcotics are not available.

An Oral Surgeon in the immediate locale of the clinic is available and on call for questions, complications and/or post op care for those patients treated at our clinic.

*We currently have six electric surgical units which may not be adequate for all surgeons in attendance. We therefore recommend that surgeons bring their own units if possible.

Please note- The provider chairs at the clinic are plastic folding chairs and therefore cannot be lowered or raised. Some providers prefer to bring their own chair to use from their private practice, or stand. However, the patient chair CAN be raised or lowered for your comfort.

CE credit information: We are proud to to offer our volunteer dental professionals three CE credits in Emergency Preparedness, completely free of charge. These credits are provided through the California Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (CALAOMS).

In order to receive the CE credits, you must volunteer at least 1 full day (8+ hours) at a California CareForce clinic and fill out and submit the required form within 30 days of volunteering. You will receive a certificate verifying your CE credits one of two ways– in person at the clinic, or post-clinic via mail. A record of your CE credits will also be kept at the CALAOMS office in case they need to be verified directly in the future.

Please email Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator, Emerald Carroll, at emerald@californiacareforce.org if you have any questions or concerns regarding CE credits.

Volunteering As a Vision Professional

Staffed by volunteer licensed optometrists, ophthalmologists, opticians, vision lab technicians and other optical professionals, the Vision Section provides comprehensive eye exams and prescription eyeglasses made on site, enabling patients to choose their frames and walk away with new glasses in hand. 

Equipped with state of the art autorefractors, auto lensometers, slit lamps, an Optos retinal scanner, and ten exam lanes, each with a phoropter, the Vision Floor provides full, comprehensive eye examinations including visual acuity, power of existing eyeglasses recorded, auto refraction, subjective refraction, intraocular pressure, slit lamp exam for ocular health assessment and pathology. 

After receiving their exam, patients then head to the Dispensing area to select their frames. Stocked with hundreds of frames from some of the best companies in the country, Bevel, SALT., Barton Perreira, OGI, LaFont, etc., we have quite the selection! 

The on-site Vision Finishing Lab is equipped with three auto lensometers, four edgers (three Santinelli SE-9090 and an LE-1000), two ICE Mini+ blockers with tracers, plastic and polycarbonate single vision and bifocal lens stock, a hand edger, frame warmers, and all the tools necessary for frame adjustment and assembly.

If you are an optometry student, please email Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator, Emerald Carroll, at emerald@californiacareforce.org to inquire about hands-on volunteer opportunities in the Vision Section!

Volunteering As a Medical Professional

Patient Triage Information: Patient Triage is the first station after patients get registered to receive services, and where the medical screening begins to support the Medical, Dental, and Vision teams. Patient Triage volunteers are a team of (actively licensed in the state of California) RNs, LVNs/LPNs, EMTs, and often, a limited number of nursing students (under an instructor’s supervision, who only do vitals). Patient Triage typically consists of 10-12 tables, with two volunteers at each table. Please note: New protocols have been written to protect our volunteers and patients to reduce the chance of acquiring any infection. 

Patient Triage volunteer information: 

  • Besides being welcoming, friendly, warm, smiling, and engaging, we take a basic medical and medicine/allergy history, as well as taking blood pressures and blood glucose levels (finger sticks). 
  • We see anybody who shows up without exception. 
  • We ask that you bring your own stethoscope and, if willing, your own BP cuff. We do have Adult, Large Adult, and Pedi cuffs available. We also supply glucometers and all the items needed for testing. 
  • Masks, gloves and hand hygiene gel is provided at every table. 
  • Translators are available for those who don’t speak English. 

We ask that each volunteer commit to a full day (~8), unless prior arrangements are made with the Volunteer Coordinator and section Team Lead. Patient Triage typically winds down between 3-4 pm. Coffee, snacks, lunch, and bottled water is provided. Please note: Patients enter the clinic in waves. It is not unusual to be very busy trying to get through 50-75 patients, and then wait for the next group to complete the registration process and be ushered into the Patient Triage waiting area. 

The work we do is fun and highly rewarding. The people you’ll meet will be the serious, as well as the characters.  Your presence is welcome to help support our patients who frequently haven’t seen a provider in years, sometimes decades. The thanks and gratitude we receive provides the energy to propel us through the day!

If you are a nursing student, please email Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator, Emerald Carroll, at emerald@californiacareforce.org to inquire about volunteer opportunities in  the Patient Triage.

Medical Section Information: The Medical Section, staffed by licensed physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and registered nurses, provides routine primary care services and preventive health screenings for participants at CareForce events. 

The Medical Section functions as follows:

  • The Medical Section provides support for patients who have blood pressure and blood sugars that are out of range. The patients with elevated BP or blood sugars are escorted from the Patient Triage area to the Medical Section. These patients would then see one of the practitioners and a treatment plan is established. We give medications in order to get patients within the parameters required for treatment. Blood pressure and blood sugar rechecks are part of our care. 
  • The Medical Section focuses on supporting the dental and optical operations, optimizing treatment for participants receiving dental and optical care who have complicating medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. 
  • The Medical Section provides minor care services, health screenings, limited immunizations, health education about common medical problems, and assists patients with enrollment in Medi-Cal and connection with local community resources for ongoing care.
  • Additionally, chiropractors, acupuncturists, massage therapists and mental health professionals who volunteer at CareForce events provide their services as part of the Medical Section. 
  • At some clinics, pap smear and mammography are service options depending on volunteer provider availability.
  • In the event of an emergency, personnel from the Medical Section assist with stabilization of the patient and transition of care to Emergency Medical Technicians. 

If you are a medical student, please email Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator, Emerald Carroll, at emerald@californiacareforce.org to inquire about volunteer opportunities in  the Medical Section.

Volunteering as a General Volunteer

50 able-bodied general volunteers are needed for help with set up, the two days prior to the clinic (typically a Wednesday and Thursday). 175 general volunteers are utilized each clinic day. 75 general volunteers are needed the day after the clinic to assist with take-down. A healthcare background is not required. We simply ask that general volunteers be friendly, patient and helpful. General volunteers are used in a variety of clinic roles, including:

  • Volunteer Check-in & out*
  • Patient line management 
  • Escorting patients to and from clinic sections
  • Patient Registration
  • Assisting in Patient Triage
  • Assisting in various areas of the dental section - X-ray, Sterilization (must be blood borne pathogen trained/certified), Dental Supply Buffet, "Bucket Brigade," Dental Check-out
  • Assisting in the Vision Section - helping patients select frames for their glasses, making glasses in the Vision Lab, check patients out
  • Translators (also needed on the afternoon of the day before the clinic)
  • Assisting with lunch*
  • Various other jobs

*The minimum age requirement for most General Volunteer roles is 18. Bullet points with * can be 15 years of age or older with a parent or guardian on-site during volunteer service.

Please contact Volunteer & Outreach Coordiantor, Emerald Carroll, at emerald@californiacareforce.org regarding any General Volunteer questions.