How To Volunteer At A Healthcare Establishment

Volunteering is a fulfilling experience that requires you to commit to a good cause for free. What you get in return are many benefits and a content heart for having made a stranger smile. It is a much better and more fruitful way of spending your extra time than wasting it scrolling through social media for hours.

Studies have shown that volunteering is especially a beneficial practice for people prone to poor emotional and mental health.

But the benefits are not limited to this. You are likely to connect with like-minded people, explore career opportunities, and gain tangible benefits.

Keep in mind that volunteering is unpaid and can prove dangerous depending. Take 9/11 for example. The volunteers who came to the rescue of of individuals lost in the rubble, or those who took part in clean up efforts were exposed to harmful toxins at Ground Zero. These heroic individuals were never paid for their helpful actions, however may have paid the ultimate price in helping.

Side note:  There is currently compensation for 9/11 volunteers who stood up to rescue and cleanup when crisis struck, and it’s advised to reach out to an attorney if you believe your medical condition is a direct result of your volunteering during 9/11 efforts.

So, if you choose to use your goodwill in situations of emergency, be assured that you will be compensated if the need arises.

When it comes to volunteering, we mostly think of shelters, campaigns, and cleanup drives.

Do you know where else you can volunteer? A hospital or other healthcare establishment. If you wish to pursue a career in the medical field, you should open a window to volunteering at the nearest hospital. Here is how you can do it.


Make a list of healthcare establishments.

Volunteering at hospitals will require you to give ample time to patients. Therefore, choose a location that is accessible and convenient to reach. You can also look for clinics and nursing homes. They may be small, but they will allow you to connect with your patients better. Though, remember not to get attached to the patients.

Once you have looked through the potential options and called them to ask for volunteering opportunities, you should have a list of shortlisted healthcare centers.


Check requirements and eligibility.

You want to check the healthcare establishment’s volunteer requirements, opportunities, and eligibility criteria. Most hospitals will require you to be 16 years or older. Also, ask them about the time commitment. You might have to see if the time commitment matches your availability if you are a student.

Let them also ask questions to clarify if you are a good fit to volunteer with them.

If all goes well, they might want to take you through a short training with their staff. It is a good idea to clarify all doubts before proceeding with the training.


Check positions available.

There are many things that a volunteer can do. Depending on what the establishment allows you to do, you can work with the hospital staff, spend time with patients, help with administrative tasks, help doctors during surgeries, etc.

There will be jobs for you even if you are not from a medical background. These include reading to patients, bringing them treats, running the front desk, and helping older patients get around.

Feel free to ask the staff for more positions if none fit you. Start thinking about the age group of patients you want to work with or entertain visitors and staff.


Get a health clearance certificate.

Before you start working, you will be required to get a health clearance certificate from the hospital to certify that you are fit to do your job. This will consist of your medical record, immunization history, and maybe even the doctors you have been to for your treatments.


Attend orientation.

You must attend an orientation training to know the workings of the staff, how things are done and what the SOP is for most duties.

Orientation will brief you about the expectations that have been kept on you, the history and mission of the hospital, and the rules and procedures you must take care of. This should be your priority because you want to do things right. Ask any doubts without hesitation.


Be professional.

Even if you are not a full-time employee, you must carry yourself professionally throughout your duties because you represent the organization as a volunteer. Listen to your patients, be respectful, maintain boundaries, but ensure they are taken care of.

However, such helping jobs can get exhausting and drain you of your energy. Do not lose your calm if it happens. Work on building a healthy mindset so you can be fresh and happy while attending to patients.



If you have never given volunteering a chance, it is time you do. There are only a few things as fulfilling as this, and yet it is one of a kind experience. There are plenty of places that are open to volunteers. Look around, and choose your organization.