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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to having you as part of our growing volunteer team!
Greeters & Wayfinders
Volunteers 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. Greeters and Wayfinders will help patients and families in the Hospital Lobby, Inpatient Units, Emergency Room, Outpatient Care Center, and Eye and Ear Infirmary.
Musicians (HIGH NEED!!!)
Volunteers provide a beautiful and therapeutic form of distraction by playing musical instruments (violin, viola, flute, etc...) to UI Health patients and visitors in different areas of the hospital, clinics, and by the bedsides of patients. Volunteers can help create a "healing environment" and bring a little bit of brightness to their visit.
Diagnostics & Imaging Services
Volunteers primarily provide excellent customer service, keep patients informed about delays, escort patients to corresponding waiting areas, provide pre-appointment informative phone calls to patients and contact patients to follow-up on their visit.
This volunteer program is a great way to make a tangible difference in the lives of those with cancer and their families. Volunteers distribute refreshments and snacks in the infusion area as well as warm blankets to waiting patients. They provide hope, courage, support, and a smiling face to those facing their journey with cancer. Volunteers may also assist the staff with ongoing projects and electronic data entry.
Volunteers mainly perform basic cleaning and organizing activities. Additionally, volunteers may be asked to assist in the office and enter data in spreadsheets. Observation opportunities are available once in the department. If allowed to observe, half of your shift will be cleaning/preparing and the other half observing.
In this challenging volunteer position, volunteers assist patients during physical therapy under the direction of licensed physical therapists. Supplementary duties include preparing the gym areas for activities and stocking supplies. Volunteers in Occupational Therapy are initially assigned to an occupational therapist who acts as their mentor. Volunteers assist staff members to prepare treatment environments for group or individual therapy sessions, assist in recreational activities, and perform auxiliary, non-physical contact activities. 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 our inpatient rehabilitation program.
Volunteers help children who face medical challenges in our Child and Youth Center. You can be the one to help kids and their siblings have fun in the waiting room before their appointment. You can read a book to a patient, color, engage a child and their siblings in craft activities or hand out stickers to keep their minds off of the doctor visit and ease their parents' minds.
Volunteers work alongside our child life specialist to help "bring the fun" to kids during their hospital stay. You can be the person to open up the playroom and engage a group of kids in games or crafts. You can also visit a kid to play bedside, read books or sing to a baby, or help out with special pediatric events like holiday parties.
Obstetrics - Mother and Baby
Volunteers tend to the special needs of women in labor. Special needs include 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.
NICU Baby Cuddling
Research has shown that infants who are held demonstrate greater growth, physiological stability, and have shorter hospital stays than infants without 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.
Breastfeeding Peer Counselors (CLS, CLC, or graduate of Peer Training Program)
Volunteers provide breastfeeding support and encouragement to women and families as they master breastfeeding and enjoy the bond it brings. Volunteers may also assist lactating families by doing clerical tasks in Lactation Services or sprucing up areas frequented by breastfeeding/pumping families. Volunteers are also welcome to attend the weekly breastfeeding club and monthly breastfeeding prenatal class.
Volunteers in Surgical Services assist the nurses by providing pre-op and post-op patients with warm blankets, building information folders and bags for patients to take home, attend to the overflow waiting room, and contact patients' family members when they can be seen after surgery. You may also participate in redistributing IV poles from other floors in the hospital to Surgical Services and the Emergency Department.
Volunteers offer comfort by providing pillows and warm blankets, conversation, reading materials, directions to the cafeteria and area restaurants. Volunteers escort families in crisis, arrange language interpretations and inform our patients and their families about parking options. Additionally, volunteers may approach patients who have no record of having a primary care physician and educate them about the benefits of a medical home.
Health Social Work
Volunteers assist in coordinating client transportation to and from the UI Hospital and Outpatient Care Center, verify and update community resources, and direct people on using the interactive video system for Social Security. Must be able to function in a stressful environment, be capable of multitasking, and have knowledge of Microsoft Office applications due to the data entry duties to be assigned.
Pastoral Care Services are available to meet the spiritual needs of 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 to 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.
Volunteers restock supplies, prepare exam rooms, manage lab models, store patient materials, perform data analysis, work with color-formulated pigment and silicone models, manipulate digital records and digital models, order supplies, and observe in clinical settings. This opportunity is directly overseen by anaplastologists. Volunteers must be comfortable working in both lab environments and clinical settings.
Pharmacy (for licensed Pharmacy Techs only)
Volunteers assist the hospital and clinic pharmacies staff.
Craniofacial Center (for pre-dental or dental students only) interview required
Volunteers will have responsibilities in a variety of areas, including the waiting room, treatment area, and laboratory. Volunteers will assist 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.