Volunteering at UW Medicine
Experience caring in action
Volunteers are an essential part of our healthcare team. Their dedicated service helps us achieve our mission to improve the health of the public. Their care and commitment makes an indelible impact on our diverse group of patients, families and medical staff.
Our volunteers get to see world class healthcare in action while they learn new skills. Volunteers also find that working with patients gives them the meaningful satisfaction of helping others while learning customer service and professional skills at the same time.
Volunteers help create a welcoming environment for patients and visitors alike by supporting a variety of vital activities within the immediate community. The services offered by our volunteers enrich the overall community and each unique individual within it.
Volunteering at University of Washington Medical Center
Thank you for your interest in the UW Medical Center Volunteer Program. Since 1959, University of Washington Medical Center patients, families, guests and staff have benefited tremendously from the commitment of community members and individuals who volunteer at the UW Medical Center.
Volunteers add to the quality of care and service provided to our patients by supporting our "UW Medicine Patients Are First" culture and providing more than 60,000 hours of service each year in more than 70 roles throughout UW Medical Center and UW Medical Center - Roosevelt Clinics.
Opportunities are available in a variety of nursing units, specialty care areas, physical therapy, surgical services, outpatient clinics, and in frontline customer service roles. These positions are available on an as-needed, as-available basis. Volunteers are required to complete a one-month term (16 hours of service) pre-requisite as a patient escort before they are eligible for new assignments.
Be a part of our highly regarded team who transport, greet and welcome visitors and patients to UW Medical Center. Our patient escort volunteers are stationed in the dispatch area and work directly with resource team and patient transport staff to assist with the following tasks: Level Green wheelchair transport, specimen deliveries, wheelchair rounding, patient discharges, delivering patient flowers and mail, and creating a warm and welcoming environment for our patients and visitors.
Volunteers receive training on safe wheelchair handling and patient transport, customer service and patient confidentiality. The escort role provides volunteers with an opportunity to work directly with patients while also experiencing the hospital environment in a leading regional and metropolitan acute care facility. In these roles, volunteers become familiar with the diversity of care and services provided at the hospital while experiencing the highest level of patient contact of any volunteer position offered at UW Medical Center. This role provides excellent baseline training to prepare volunteers for other patient care volunteer opportunities.
Retired Adult Volunteers
Work closely with patients and families at the Information Desk, or the Surgery Waiting Room, or volunteer for a variety of tasks, among other positions. Call our volunteer manager, Cynnie Foss, at 206.598.4453 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss assignment possibilities.
Summer Teen Program
Thank you for your interest in the UW Medical Center Summer Teen Volunteer Program. The 2019 Summer Teen Program applications are now closed. Please check back in early 2020 for next year's program opportunities.
Thank you for your interest in the University of Washington Medical Center Volunteer Program. Applications are temporarily closed due to a recent high volume of interest. Please check back here for updates on when volunteer applications will re-open. If you have any questions, please contact the UWMC Volunteer Services Office at 206.598.4218.
Main phone: 206.598.4218
Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday
University of Washington Medical Center
c/o Volunteer Services
1959 NE Pacific St.
Seattle, WA 98195
Adult/College Program: All applicants must be 18 or over and a high school graduate. All eligible volunteers must complete an application, attend an interview, be screened by Employee Health and comply with all required immunizations, and complete all required training, both written and practical. Volunteers are required to make a minimum commitment of four hours per week for three months.
Summer Teen Program: This is a summer only program that provides exposure to healthcare careers and service for our community high school students.
Please note: Our volunteer program does not accommodate job shadowing, internships, court ordered service, or job training programs. In addition, our program is not intended for those with medical training above a CNA.
Current volunteers must review the Annual Refresher Training Objectives and the UW Medicine Privacy, Confidentiality, and Information Security Agreement on an annual basis. Please follow the link below to complete the online Annual Refresher Training Objectives. When you get to the last page of the training, please print it and then write your name on it. Please print, read, and sign the UW Medicine Privacy, Confidentiality, and Information Security Agreement form. When these are completed, turn them in at the UW Medical Center Volunteer Services office. Questions? Please call us at 206-598-4218
Volunteering at Harborview Medical Center
The care and dedication of our volunteers has a great impact on our diverse group of patients, families and staff. Volunteers at Harborview Medical Center have the chance to:
- Gain experience in a hospital setting, working side by side with leading healthcare professionals
- Observe patient care in a high-volume medical center
- Gain satisfaction from helping others
- Build meaningful relationships
- Give back to the community
As an academic medical center, Harborview promotes a culture of education. If you are considering a career in healthcare, volunteering at Harborview is one of the best experiences you can have.
Harborview volunteers are an essential part of the Harborview community. Volunteer placement is dependent on the applicant's work history and volunteer experience, as well as the needs of the hospital. Applicants with no prior work or volunteering experience in a healthcare setting will usually be required to complete a 3-month term (50 hours) of service at our Information Desk as a Hospitality Ambassador.
Opportunities are variable but generally are available between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays. Please refer to our Opportunity Directory for a list of commonly available departments.
Please keep in mind that we will place volunteers based primarily on the needs of the hospital and that we cannot guarantee any applicant a position in a certain department.
Typical volunteer duties include:
- Restocking supplies in inpatient units
- Providing non-medical comfort to patients
- Preparing rooms for new patients
- Providing administrative support in medical offices
- Reading to patients
- Changing bed linens
- Answering patient calls
- Socializing with patients, speaking with patients in another language
- Escorting non-critical patients to clinic appointments
- Directing patients' families and friends to hospital units, clinics or other destinations
- Distributing books, magazines and activities to patient rooms and waiting areas
1. Submit your online application and have your professional reference submit their reference using these links:
a. Application: https://www.volgistics.com/ex/portal.dll/ap?ap=1410038451
b. Professional Reference: https://catalyst.uw.edu/webq/survey/hmcvol/260172
2. Once your application and reference have been reviewed by Volunteer Services staff, you will be contacted to attend an orientation. Orientations are held once a month. Please be patient, as our volunteer positions are in high demand and there is frequently a waiting list. Orientation consists of attending a presentation, completing orientation paperwork, being cleared by Employee Health regarding your immunization history and tuberculosis (TB) screening, and passing a criminal history background check.
3. Upon completion of all orientation requirements, you will receive a volunteer photo ID badge. We will discuss potential assignments and preferences with you. We do try to accommodate requests, however we will place you in a volunteer position based on the needs of the medical center. You will be connected to a volunteer supervisor within a department to arrange your schedule and any additional site-specific training that you will need to complete. Congratulations, you are now a Harborview Medical Center volunteer!
All program applicants must be at least 16 years old to be considered. Age restrictions of 18 or older apply in many inpatient and clinical areas, including the Emergency Department and Burn Unit. The commitment for our program is four hours per week for at least six months. Volunteers may continue beyond six months, as long as they maintain at least 4 hours per week of service.
Volunteering at UW Medical Center - Northwest
Have you ever had to wait while a loved one has surgery? Then you know how comforting it is to have a volunteer keep you company in the waiting room. Have you ever gotten lost on your way to treatment or another area of the hospital? Then you know what a relief it is to see the friendly face of a volunteer who took the time to take you where you were going. Have you ever been hospitalized? Then you know how uplifting it is when a volunteer comes by with magazines, flowers or just a hello.
Every day, everywhere in the hospital, volunteers add to the caring environment at University Medical Center - Northwest, helping patients and their families at a stressful and sometimes frightening time in their lives. By volunteering your time, you help give back to your community and make University Medical Center - Northwest a friendlier, more welcoming place to everyone who steps foot on our campus.
More than 150 active volunteers of all ages perform a wide variety of tasks at the hospital. For example, volunteers work in the hospital’s gift shop, bring the library cart to patients’ rooms, escort discharged patients and provide information and comfort to families of inpatients and those undergoing surgery. In fact, volunteers can be found in departments throughout the hospital.
While most volunteers work during the weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., some volunteers choose to work evenings and weekends.
Volunteering at University Medical Center - Northwest requires a good match between a person’s interests and talents and the work available to volunteers at the hospital. While a match is usually a simple process, occasionally it is not possible. We schedule an interview with prospective volunteers to learn about specific volunteer opportunities available.
You will be asked to complete a Volunteer Application and a request form for a Washington State Patrol Criminal Background Check, which is submitted by University Medical Center - Northwest. You may also be asked to attend a second interview with a prospective department supervisor. Once an acceptable match is made, the new volunteer is scheduled to attend training.
Adults and teens (15 years or older) are encouraged to volunteer at University Medical Center - Northwest. We ask that volunteers be willing to work three to four hours per week for a minimum of four months.
All new volunteers must attend a volunteer orientation. This will help familiarize new volunteers with the policies and procedures that govern volunteers at University Medical Center - Northwest. In addition, volunteers receive specialized training within their specific departments. Volunteers also receive ongoing support from other staff members.
Volunteering at Valley Medical Center
Valley Medical Center volunteers are an integral part of its healthcare team and valuable contributors. Volunteer opportunities are available within different departments and roles throughout the organization.
Volunteer for medical research
By volunteering to participate in medical research, you help researchers learn more about specific medical conditions and the effectiveness of treatments. Studies usually focus on diagnosing, preventing, treating or improving symptoms of a disease, injury or condition. Both healthy volunteers and participants with specific health conditions are needed.
Requirements for volunteering in our hospitals
All UW Medicine volunteers are required to be immunized, screened for tuberculosis and pass a background check. In addition, volunteers must maintain the highest level of patient confidentiality.
- All volunteers need to provide evidence of immunity against varicella (chickenpox), measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), and tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap). This may be in the form of vaccinations or lab testing.
- Hepatitis B vaccination is not required for volunteers.
- Annual flu vaccination is required for all volunteers.
- TB skin testing is required at orientation and annually. Some volunteers may need two TB skin tests (an initial test and a repeat test) when first starting their volunteer orientation.
- Health screenings, flu vaccinations and TB skin testing are provided free of charge to volunteers.
- All volunteers are required to pass a Washington state criminal conviction history background check before volunteering. To complete the background check, potential volunteers must complete a criminal conviction history form at the time of obtaining their volunteer badge, along with submitting a photocopy of a government issued ID (driver’s license, state ID, passport).
- If you have any prior criminal convictions, please contact the appropriate volunteer services office at the time of application so we can discuss this with you, as it may or may not disqualify you depending on the type of conviction and how long ago it occurred.
Volunteers must comply with patient confidentiality and HIPAA compliance standards. Training is provided during volunteer orientation. Volunteers who violate HIPAA guidelines will be subject to termination.