Volunteering at UW Medical Center

Frequently asked questions

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

Volunteer position hours vary by assignment. Most positions are available Monday-Friday. Weekend and evening positions are available only on a very limited basis.

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

Our program is designed to give community members interested in learning more about careers in healthcare the opportunity to get exposure and experience in a hospital environment.  In most circumstances we do not allow medically trained applicants (above a Certified Nursing Assistant) participate in patient care area roles.

There are no opportunities for doctors or nurses to volunteer in patient care areas within the Volunteer Services Program at UW Medical Center.

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. 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 UW Medical Center.

Unfortunately, not. Every hospital volunteer program is slightly different and every hospital is unique. Our onboarding includes training that is specific to UW Medical Center.  Currently, each UW Medicine hospital has their own volunteer programs and each Volunteer Services Department must maintain its own records and files.

Yes, employees may volunteer but there are specific restrictions. Please email the Volunteer Manager at fossc@uw.edu for detailed information. All volunteer placements for children of employees (16 or older) are also handled directly by the Volunteer Manager.

Volunteer Services does not coordinate participation in medical studies. If you are interested in participating in these studies, please email restudy@uw.edu .

Learn more

Volunteering in a healthcare 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 healthcare. 

No. A letter of recommendation is not guaranteed for any volunteer.  Letters of recommendation are something that can be earned but it is not a requirement for any staff member to write a letter of recommendation for a volunteer.  That said, many of our volunteers do earn letters of recommendation by demonstrating commitment, the ability to work independently, showing empathy, contributing to the team, and being exceptional in their roles.