Volunteer at A Hospital Under 18
We’ve previously discussed the benefits of volunteering at a hospital. Volunteering at a hospital can be an extremely rewarding and fulfilling act. It is a selfless act and can help nurture a level of empathy and compassion. Volunteering at a hospital can help you gain new experiences and life lessons. In addition, volunteering at a hospital can help individuals to realize their career path journey and decide upon one that they find most fulfilling, rewarding, and interesting.
For many individuals, volunteering at a hospital can be especially useful for college applications. Volunteering at a hospital is a great addition to any individual’s application and will show potential colleges that you’re a serious, committed individual. In addition, with volunteer experience at a hospital on your application, it will show that you are active and involved in your local community and are someone who is willing to give back to those in need.
Committing as a volunteer at a hospital under 18 years old will be a bit more difficult than if you were over 18. Hospitals have strict background check systems in place to ensure that any potential volunteer is trained in basic courtesies and patient management. In addition, hospitals will look to ensure that any volunteer is patient and is able to work in a high-paced, fast moving environment.
Duties of a Hospital Volunteer
Volunteering at a hospital, whether over or under 18-years of age, will typically include non-patient facing duties. As a volunteer, unless you have a medical degree, you will likely not deal or interact with patients in a direct manner. You may be tasked with assisting patients in an indirect manner, but you will likely not be a main point of contact for any patient.
The reason a volunteer is not tasked with direct patient care or access is that they simply do not have the necessary credentials to do so. Patient access and assistance will be administered by trained, licensed professionals, including hospital nurses and doctors.
As a volunteer, your duties will likely include clerical work, such-as filing of information, typing, and answering phone calls and FAX messages. In addition, volunteers may be tasked with concierge duties, including greeting and welcoming of new patients. Lastly, duties may also include patient care delivery, including bringing pillows, food, blankets, or beverages to patients.
Number of Hours You'll Need to Commit
Although there is no set rule, a volunteer at a hospital will likely need to commit 50-hours of volunteer work per year. This is a minimum requirement and most volunteers will have the opportunity to commit, and put-in, additional hours.
The 50-hours will likely be divided in 4-hour shifts. A volunteer at a hospital under 18 years of age may look to commit 4-hours a week over their summer vacation, which can provide them with the full 50-hour minimum needed.
How to Find Volunteer Opportunities at a Hospital
Hospitals are always looking for volunteers to assist them. However, they do have strict requirements on which volunteers they accept. If you’re looking for a volunteer opportunity at a hospital, you should simply Google local hospitals around you. From there, you can narrow your search by Googling “[Hospital Name] Volunteering”. This will provide you with the hospitals volunteer program page where you can apply.
After completing an online application, expect to conduct an interview with the volunteer manager. From there, you will likely need to get a TB test and a flu shot. You will then need to attend a volunteer orientation, complete all volunteer and working documents, and have a background check completed. You may also need to pay for a volunteer uniform.
If you are under 18-years of age, you will still need to be older than 15 to volunteer at a hospital. You will likely need to provide a letter of consent from a parent or legal guardian. In addition, you may be asked to provide a letter of recommendation. These letters will typically be provided by a teacher, principle, or coach.
Good Candidates to Volunteer at a Hospital
Whether you’re older or younger than 18-years of age, volunteering at a hospital takes commitment, hard work, and patience. It is a fast-paced environment, that will require a volunteer to not be squeamish or disgusted by blood and any other bodily fluids.
Although a hospital is fast-paced, you’ll likely be doing volunteer level work and won’t be engaged too much with the patients. Expect to work in a clerical, reception, or orientation level field. As you get more accustomed to the ways the hospital functions, and with the time you put in, you’ll be given more-and-more opportunities to volunteer in a more impactful manner.