Great Question! Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About VOLUNTEERING


How long does the on-boarding process take for full time volunteers?

It generally takes 4-6 weeks but it can take longer if it is hard to coordinate schedules for training.

What is your required commitment?

For consistent shift placements, we ask for a commitment of 1 shift (3 hours) per week for 12 months.  These shifts are scheduled for the same day and time each week.

For variable shift placements, we ask for a commitment of 3-6 shifts (3 hours) per month for at least 100 hours.  Variable shifts do not need to be the same day and time.  Instead, they are self-scheduled by each VOLUNTEER.  Placements available include Patient Pals, The Zone, Floaters/Projects and Emergency Department.

Can I volunteer more than one day a week?

Absolutely!  Our variable shift placement allows for up to 6 shifts per month.  

For consistent shift placements, you will only be scheduled one shift a week for your first two months. We want to ensure you are comfortable and confident before we add more hours to your schedule. Your added shift may be in the same area or you may have an additional area. Please speak with the volunteer coordinator for more information.


Can I request a specific unit or floor as a volunteer?

We cannot guarantee a particular placement for you but we love knowing you interests. Placements depend on your availability, the units' needs, your strengths and your personality. We get a great idea of where you'll best fit during your volunteer interview when we get to know you more.


Can I volunteer in more than one area of the hospital?

Yes!  You may choose a placement that has built-in variety or, if your placement is static, after 2 months of volunteering you may add a second shift and an additional area.  Or after 4 months of one area you may switch and be trained in a new area. We ask for at least 4 months in one area so we have time to replace your spot without hurting the clinical staff in that area. If you are seeking to be a Child Life Specialist and want a variety of experiences, discuss with the volunteer coordinator at your interview.


I am a student pursuing nursing/medicine – can I shadow nurses or doctors while at the hospital?

No. Our program is strictly for volunteering. Anytime a medical procedure is going on, you will be asked to leave the room as a volunteer. If you are hoping to do medical shadowing we ask you to pursue that through the hospital’s Human Resources department or another organization.

I am a student pursuing Child Life. Will my volunteer experience here allow me to shadow or observe a working Child Life Specialist during procedures?

No. Our program is strictly for volunteering. As a volunteer you are trained to step out of the room during procedures. Our Child Life Volunteers DO get to know our Child Life Specialists, get notes about their patients from our specialists, and work under the supervision of a Child Life Specialist can be very beneficial in the future. If you are hoping to shadow and observe a Child Life Specialist during medical procedures, please visit the Child Life Department page to learn more about Child Life Practicums.


Does it cost any money to be a full time volunteer?

The only cost is $20 for the required Volunteer Polo shirt.  We provide free parking, meal vouchers and drink vouchers. Speak to a volunteer coordinator if you cannot afford the $20 (funding may be available) 


As a volunteer will I get to observe and medical procedures, surgeries or psychological testing?

No. Our program is designed to only allow for volunteering. Our volunteers are not in the room during medical procedures of any kind- including psychological testing.


I am currently a medical student, nursing student or a working person in the medical field already educated on many hospital policies – do I still need to attend the Volunteer Training?

Yes. While you may already know all about HIPAA, there are many things specific to our hospital, our program and our volunteers that you will learn during training. We also designed our training to help you know how to set up your volunteer experience so that you have an amazing time volunteering.


I am under the age of 18, can I still volunteer?

We currently do not accept volunteers younger than 18. Please consider organizing a donation drive at your school!  Talk with a volunteer coordinator about our summer program for students ages 16 and 17.

Sara Jacobson