Volunteers are needed on a weekly basis throughout the calendar year to help collect, sort and pack surplus medical supplies, both at Duke North Hospital and at our off-campus storage warehouse. Assistance is also needed to coordinate volunteers, review supply requests, coordinate donations, and record inventory.
How to volunteer:
If you would like to volunteer with REMEDY at Duke, send an email expressing your interest and availability to one of the REMEDY coordinators: undergraduate students should contact firstname.lastname@example.org; hospital staff and graduate students should contact email@example.com
All volunteers must be age 18 or older and capable of performing light physical activity. There is no minimum number of hours required to volunteer with REMEDY, but we ask volunteers to commit to at least one sorting and packing session a month. Safety and compliance training will be provided by the REMEDY coordinators.
Volunteering with REMEDY primarily involves sorting and packing surplus medical supplies for donation to areas of need. While many of our volunteers are also involved with other global health projects, REMEDY does not provide any direct exposure to health care or to overseas work. If you are looking for patient care volunteer experience, you may also want to investigate some of the many Duke Hospital volunteer programs. For more information about programs offered through Duke Hospital Volunteer Services, call 919-681-5031
Where and When
At Duke Hospital:
Volunteers meet as a group once a week at Duke North Hospital throughout the year, including summer and semester breaks. Currently we meet every:
Wednesday evening at 6:00pm
At these sessions we sort and pack the surplus received from various areas of the Medical Center. Our target group size is about five people per session, which allows for a meeting time of about 1 to 2 hours.
(If you cannot attend the weekly group session and have been trained in sorting and packing procedures, you may go in at other times during the week. Evenings and weekends are best in order not to interfere with other hospital employees who use this area during the workday.)
Directions to Duke North sorting area: Find the stairwell to the left of the main elevators in the lobby of Duke North Hospital. Go down to the sub-basement (zero) level. Turn right out of the stairwell and follow the blue signs to the “Material Services Supply Room” until you come to the loading dock. The REMEDY sorting area is located to the left just inside the doors to the loading dock, next to the back entrance to Sterile Processing. Look for the fenced in area with the REMEDY signs adjacent to the rows of OR carts.
At Golden Warehouse:
We may also meet some weekends at the warehouse located at 100 Golden Drive where our supplies are stored in order to organize and distribute supplies to requesting projects. Weekly email reminders will keep you informed about these dates and other REMEDY activities.
Directions to Golden Drive warehouse: From Erwin Road, take Morreene Road north about 2 miles until it turns into Neal Road. Continue past McMannen Methodist Church and turn right just before the RR crossing sign onto Golden Drive. Continue down Golden Drive to the right to the Duke Medicine warehouse and go around to the loading docks in. Enter through the large bay door and turn right. Go up the stairs in the corner to the mezzanine level.
Packing and Inventory Procedures
Wear comfortable clothing and shoes that you would not mind getting dirty and are appropriate for light physical work including bending, kneeling and lifting. Short skirts, sandals or high-heels, etc. are not suitable.
Before sorting or packing any materials, put on a pair of disposable gloves, available in the collections area.
- Empty new surplus from boxes or bags and place each item in the appropriate labeled sorting bins on the shelves.
- Unusable, damaged, or soiled items should be discarded in large plastic trash bags available in the sorting area. At the end of each session all trash should be placed in the large dumpsters located in the loading dock area.
- Corrugated cardboard should be recycled in the box crusher on the loading dock.
- Discard any unprotected needles, blades or other sharps in the red “sharps” disposal containers located in the collections area.
- Discard any syringes or sutures that are not in their sterile peel-pack package.
- Unexpired medications, IV solutions and nutritional products can be sorted into labeled bins, but should NOT be packed for overseas donation.
- Highly specialized or technically complex items or supplies are generally not suitable for overseas donation, but may be donated to one of our teaching labs or to the NC State Veterinary School. Examples include cardiac catheterization cannulas, endoscopic or other specialized surgical devices, or devices that require specific machinery or equipment to operate.
- Expired blood collection tubes, arterial blood gas syringes, IV solutions (bags or flush syringes) should be discarded.
- Containers with liquids (e.g. scrub soaps, iodine, alcohol, etc.) should be inspected closely for leaks and discarded if any are found. Place these in plastic bags before packing.
**If you are unsure what an item is or whether it should be packed, just leave it on the shelf and we will make a determination later.
- Cardboard boxes available in the collections area are packed with items from the sorting bins. Whenever possible, put similar items together in the same box, rather than an assortment of unlike items. Liquid containers should be placed in a plastic bag before being packed.
- Tape the box closed using the packing tape available in the work area.
- Write with a marker on the outside of the box the general contents, e.g. “antiseptics”, “exam gloves”, “bandages and dressings”, etc.
- Stack each packed box on the wooden loading pallet in the collections area. When the pallet is full it will be transported to the storage warehouse for later distribution.