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Volunteer Services & Opportunities

Thank you for your interest in volunteering at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System! We are a diverse and dynamic group of volunteers dedicated to providing exceptional care and services to patients and families. Our program builds meaningful connections, caring relationships, positive engagement between volunteers, patients and families, and promotes the importance of a positive and engaged patient experience.  

In order to ensure the most rewarding volunteer experience, we ask that our volunteers make a commitment of 12 months of service with a minimum of eight hours each month. Volunteers must be 16 years of age or older and complete a drug screening, health assessment, and criminal background check. Our opportunities are non-clinical, do not consist of any clinical experiences, and are not related to any accreditation processes for student programs.

If you have any questions about our program or our requirements do not hesitate to contact the Volunteer Services Office at 312.355.4325, or volserv@uic.edu.

We look forward to having you as part of our growing volunteer team!

Our Opportunities


UI Care Liaisons
Volunteers will have a crucial role in engaging with patients and families to provide a warm and welcoming care environment for all of our patients, families, and visitors. Liaisons will work with patients and families in the Hospital, Inpatient Units, Emergency Room, Outpatient Care Center, and Mile Square Clinics.   

Materials Management
Many patients are discharged before their rides arrive or the loved one must go to the parking structure to retrieve their automobile.   The volunteers will be used as a hand off for the transporters; the volunteers will then wait on the family and then escort the patient to the vehicle.  In addition the volunteer staff will be used for non- patient transports such as delivering stretchers and or beds to the Operating Room, Surgi- Center, PACU, and other areas. This assignment is an integral part of the UI Health Experience as is assists patients and provides volunteers an opportunity to work throughout the hospital. 

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, sitting with women who otherwise have no family or friends here to support them, and providing visitors with information and directions, or some transport services when requested. Supplementary clerical and front desk phone responsibilities are also part of this volunteer position.

Pediatrics - Inpatient and Outpatient
Volunteers help children who face medical challenges get through their daily routine. You can be the person that holds their hand as they go through a test, reads a book to a patient or young sibling in the waiting room, or plays a game while they wait for the medicine to work.

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, verify and update community resources, as well as direct people on the use of the interactive video system for Social Security. A volunteer who is interested 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.

Pastoral Care
Pastoral Care Services are available to meet the spiritual needs of the UI Health patients and their families. 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.

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.

Baby Cuddling/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.

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 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 rehabilitation 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.

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.


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