Volunteer Services & Opportunities
Volunteer Services at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System, provides non clinical volunteering opportunities (a minimum of one year/12months of volunteering) in one of our programs for people ages 18 and up. Volunteering at UI Health does not consist of any clinical experiences nor is it related to any accreditation process for student programs. Volunteering in a hospital environment can provide a variety of experiences with patients from all ages and walks of life. Volunteers can gain experience and afford them the opportunity to learn the ends and outs of the hospital environment. Our volunteer programs foster a sense of community, caring and promote the importance of the patient experience. The gift of time could mean the world to someone who, is dealing with an illness and being hospitalized. Give the Gift of Time Volunteer!!!
Baby Cuddlers/Neonatal Intensive Care Unit– Research has shown that infants who are held demonstrate greater growth, physiological stability and have shorter hospital stays than infants denied that opportunity. Since critically ill newborns are frequently hospitalized for an extended period of time, parents find themselves emotionally and physically torn between their desires to visit with their infants and other life responsibilities. The Cuddle Program uses extensively trained volunteers to support the families of infants by providing comfort to their hospitalized infant. Through training, Cuddlers learn to handle, hold, rock, and cuddle stable infants-as an extension of the parents’ role-as they convalesce from premature birth or other illnesses.
Blood Bank– Volunteers in the Blood Bank will learn about and assist in basic functions of a hemotherapy center. Duties will be tailored to the interests and abilities of the individual volunteer. Possible duties include: assisting in the development of blood platelet donor program through recruitment and retention efforts; assisting in blood drives conducted on the East and West campuses of the university; providing assistance, comfort, and transport to patients; support for special projects.
Craniofacial Center – Volunteers will have responsibilities in a variety of areas, including the waiting room, treatment area, and laboratory. Volunteers will assist with the maxillofacial prosthodontist, dental assistant, medical artist, dental laboratory technician, and clerical staff in patient care treatment and assist in laboratory preparations of prostheses and molds. The University of Illinois' Craniofacial Center is one of the oldest and largest facilities in the world dedicated to the evaluation and treatment of patients with cleft lip and palate and other craniofacial conditions. The Center also provides rehabilitive care for patients with head and neck cancer and those who have suffered craniofacial trauma. Volunteers in the Craniofacial Center must be 18 years old, have an active interest in health sciences, and must be able to demonstrate an ability to interact well with patients and make them feel comfortable.
Health Social Work – Volunteers in this program will assist in the coordination of client transportation to and from the UI Hospital and Outpatient Care Center, verifying and updating community resources, as well as directing people on the use of the interactive video system for Social Security. Volunteers will also assist staff in the coordination of vendor fairs and in-services. A volunteer who is interested in volunteering in this program should be able to function in a stressful environment, be capable of multitasking and have knowledge of the Microsoft applications due to the data entry duties which must be assigned. Volunteers for this program will be selected on their ability to interact well with patients, guest and staff of the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Science System.
Information Desk – Studies show that the first person whom a guest (patient or visitor) meets at a hospital has a great impact on the guest’s attitude towards the rest of the visit. As a volunteer in the UI Health Information Desk (UIHID), you will have a chance to be that important person-greeting visitors, patients, vendors, and VIPs to our facility. As an MICD volunteer, your main task is to interact effectively, compassionately and courteously with guests. Volunteers must have customer service experience and make a minimum service commitment of six months.
Pastoral Care – Pastoral Care Services are available to meet the spiritual needs of the UI Health patients and their families. Chaplains are available as a resource for the following services:
Spiritual and emotional support
Administering the sacraments such as holy communion and the sacrament of the sick
Ethical decision making assistance on issues such as advanced directives
Although most volunteers in this area are ordained clergy, there are also two areas in which lay people can help. Catholics that would like to participate in bringing Holy Communion to patients should check with their church to learn about the 12-hour training program., Any others who would like to be available to sit with patients and their loved ones while they pray, read the holy scriptures to them, or just be there too listen, need to be interviewed and trained by the hospital chaplain, or must have completed specialized ministry training. In either case, volunteers in this area must have good listening skills and must not use this as a means to proselytize to hospital guests.
Pediatrics – Help children facing medical challenges get through their daily routine. You can be the person that holds their hand as they go through a test or play a game with them while they wait for the medicine to work. In any event, children and parents alike will greatly appreciate your selflessness to be there. These volunteers work with our Child Life Program and have a full-time person assigned to work with them.
Physical Therapy – In this challenging volunteer position, you will work directly with Licensed Physical Therapists to provide assistance to in-patients during Physical Therapy. Supplementary duties include preparing the gym areas for activities, and stocking supplies. The basic requirements are that you must be at least 18 years of age, a college student or a graduate, and have an interest in health careers. Excellent attendance, compassion, and sensitivity to patients’ needs are essential qualities of volunteers in Physical Therapy.
Obstetrics – Mother and Baby – Volunteers will tend to the special needs of women who are in labor. Special needs including getting things such as water, ice or magazines, or just sitting with women who otherwise have no family or friends here to support them. They will also provide visitors with information and directions as well as some transport services when requested. Supplementary clerical and front desk phone responsibilities are also part of this volunteer position.
Occupational Therapy – Occupational therapy is a vital aspect of in-patient rehabilitation, as patients learn to perform the tasks of daily living following an injury or illness. Volunteers in OT are initially assigned to an occupational therapist who acts as their mentor. Volunteers provide assistance to staff members in preparing treatment environments for group or individual therapy sessions, assisting in recreational activities, and performing auxiliary, non-physical contact activities.
Contact Volunteer Services either by calling 312-355-4325 or emailing email@example.com to request the brief application.