Frequently Asked Questions

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What position has the most patient contact?

Lobby Ambassador and Patient Escort offer the highest and most consistent level of patient contact.

When can I volunteer?

Volunteer positions at UWMC are available between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., Monday through Fridays. Weekend and evening positions are available only on a very limited basis.

I would like to shadow a physician or nurse. Can Volunteer Services arrange this for me?

Volunteer Services does not arrange Clinical Observation (or "shadowing") opportunities for individuals. For information about shadowing, please email observer@uw.edu.

I have special medical training as a (CNA, MA). Where can I utilize my skills?

Unfortunately, UWMC volunteers cannot provide direct patient care or provide any service to a patient that requires specialized medical training or licensing. Volunteers can only provide assistance to staff within strict compliance with the competencies created for the volunteer role.

I have medical training (RN, MD) from outside the United States. Can I volunteer while I obtain my license to practice in this country?

There are no opportunities for doctors or nurses to volunteer their services within the Volunteer Services Program at UWMC.

Will my volunteer experience lead to a job at UWMC?

Although volunteering is a great way to build one's resume and experience, there is no guarantee that a volunteer role will lead to employment at UWMC. Volunteer Services has no connection to the Human Resources Department. The services volunteers provide to the medical center are not the same as paid positions at UWMC.

Will my volunteer orientation paperwork and hours from another hospital transfer to UWMC?

Unfortunately, no. Each hospital program is completely separate and the Volunteer Services Department must maintain its own records and files based upon the compliance standards of UWMC.

When applying to become a volunteer at UWMC, how can I obtain a letter of recommendation? 

You may ask a teacher, employer, business acquaintance, coach, neighbor or group leader (i.e. from an organization such as Boy Scouts) or church leader for a recommendation letter. This letter may not be written by a relative or peer. Letterhead (reflecting the professional affiliation of the writer) is preferred but not required. Please do not submit the letter separately from your application or sealed in a separate envelope.


What is a letter of recommendation? 

According to the Free Dictionary, a letter of recommendation "is a letter in which the writer assesses the qualities, characteristics and capabilities of the person being recommended in terms of that individual's ability to perform a particular task or function."

For a volunteer application, a strong letter of recommendation will include favorable statements concerning the applicant's character, qualifications, experience, work ethic, personal attributes or any other information that might help to endorse the applicant as a potential great volunteer.

I am an employee at UWMC. Can I also volunteer?

Yes, employees may volunteer at UWMC but there are certain restrictions. Employees wishing to volunteer should contact the Volunteer Manager at (206) 598-4453. All volunteer placements for children of employees are also handled directly by the Volunteer Manager.

How can I volunteer to participate in a medical research study?

Volunteer Services does not coordinate participation in medical studies. If you are interested in participating in these studies, please email restudy@uw.edu or refer to the following website: Information about Clinical Trials​.

Will my volunteer assignment at UWMC help me get into medical school or nursing school?

Volunteering in a health care setting is an important first step to discovering if a career in medicine is right for you. The volunteer experience is subjective, based upon the amount of time you commit to the role and your own personal investment. Although our volunteer roles do not allow for direct physician contact or clinical observation, your volunteer experience may still allow you to gain a great deal of exposure to the environment of health care.

For more information and details on the specific requirements of these programs, please refer to the following websites and information: