FAQS

NOTE: Harborview Medical Center Volunteer Services will not be accepting applications until May ​1st. Thank you for your interest in our program.



What is the process for becoming a volunteer?

Please follow our three-step process for becoming a volunteer. All volunteers are required to go through a Washington state background check before volunteering.

It is Harborview’s policy that all volunteers must be immunized, which includes a tuberculosis (TB) skin test once per year and a hepatitis series, if applicable. The TB skin test and hepatitis series are given free of charge.

Once your completed volunteer application is received, you will get a confirmation email within two business days. Upon reviewing your availability and interests you will be contacted to schedule an interview within three weeks.

After your references are checked and you have attended the interview, you may be scheduled for the next available orientation. You will receive your placement after attending volunteer orientation. At this time your background check will be processed.

How often is volunteer orientation?


Volunteer orientation is held once a month.

I’ve attended orientation. What’s next?


Orientation is a two-step process. Once the competency quizzes and tuberculosis (TB) test results are completed, volunteer services will assign you to a department and schedule.

How long will the interview take?


The interview will take approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

Where should I park for my interview?


Park in the View Park Garage on the west side of the hospital. The Health Sciences Express and King County Metro busses stop at Harborview.

How long does it take to become a volunteer?


It takes approximately six weeks to become a volunteer.

What are my time commitments?


The commitment for our regular volunteer program is four hours per week for six consecutive months. You must be able to commit to volunteering on a weekly basis at a scheduled time.

Your department depends on you to be consistent and dependable. If you are not able to volunteer for any reason, please call Volunteer Services at 206.744.3547 and your assigned department in advance.

How old do I have to be to volunteer?


All program applicants must be at least 16 to be considered. Age restrictions apply in some departments, including the Emergency Department.

Is there a dress code for volunteering?


We ask that our volunteers maintain a casual professional dress. Some volunteers may be required to wear scrubs, which can be purchased from the Volunteer & Community Services office. Volunteers should not wear blue jeans, sweatpants, sweatshirts, open-toe shoes, T-shirts or shorts. If you have concerns about the dress code, please speak with a member of our staff.

Where can I volunteer?


Most of our volunteers are placed in departments like: the Patient Family Resource Center, Patient Family Liaison program, Emergency Department, the Burn Unit, Rehabilitation Therapy, Pathology, Radiology, The Information Desk, the Medical Respite Center, Occupational Health Education, and Volunteer Services. We offer limited availability in other departments.

Do I need to sign-in for my volunteer shift?


Yes. It is very important for the volunteer department to keep track of all volunteer hours. Please sign in and out on the touch screen kiosk located in the Ground West Lobby before and after each volunteer shift.

May I volunteer for only the summer?


No.  We require six months of consecutive service.

Will I be able to shadow a doctor? Do you have research positions available? Does Harborview offer internships and/or externships?


No. Physician observation experiences are not offered, nor do we do internships, externships or research positions.

If I volunteer, will I get a job at the hospital?


Volunteering at the hospital does not guarantee employment at Harborview.

How long do you keep applications?


If you do not complete the process within three months, your application will be discarded.

Can I continue volunteering beyond my six-month commitment?


Of course! You will be kept on the volunteer schedule until you resign. In order to continue volunteering, you must update your file every year by the date of your original volunteer orientation.

Do you offer letters of reference to volunteers?


Yes. As long as you finish your six month commitment, we will be happy to write you a letter of reference.

Does Harborview sponsor corporate volunteer events?


Yes. For more information please contact us at 206.744.3547.

Do I have to get a certain kind of background check to volunteer at Harborview?


Yes. Please fill out the UW Conviction form attached to the application and submit it with a copy of a government issued ID.​