Welcome to our page all about our undergraduate volunteer experience!

The information below is intended for undergraduate students currently enrolled at any college or university, who are at least 18 years old, and interested in volunteering at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Not a current undergraduate student? View our general volunteering information and select a different category.

What makes you a good fit for our program

We are seeking student volunteers who are:

  • Reliable – our staff, patients and visitors count on your support!
  • Driven – many of our roles function fairly independently. Volunteers who get the most out of their experience are the ones who take initiative.
  • Extroverted – regardless of where you are placed, a large portion of your role will involve interacting with our patients and visitors, so you should feel comfortable striking up conversations with strangers.
  • Compassionate – whether you are interacting with a patient or visitor, they are likely feeling stressed or overwhelmed. The empathy and compassion you provide during even a brief interaction can go a long way.
  • Service-oriented – with each task or interaction, you have the ability to positively impact someone’s experience here at the Medical Center.

Do you fit everything above, but haven’t turned 18 yet? Medical Center regulations require all volunteers must be at least 18 years old (by the date you submit your application). We hope you will apply for a future session.

What you can expect of the college volunteer experience

What you can expect of the college volunteer experience

Here is some more information about the volunteer experience we offer, so you can decide whether or not our program is the right fit for you.

Who you will be interacting with as you volunteer

Volunteers primarily interact with patients, their family members and visitors. While you may report to or occasionally check in with a unit clerk, charge nurse, patient experience representative, or other staff member, you are not likely to have frequent interaction with doctors, nurses or other clinical staff.

What you might be doing as part of your role

We have more than 30 different volunteer roles throughout the Medical Center. While they are all a bit different, most are focused around non-clinical tasks you can perform to make someone’s hospital visit a bit easier and less stressful. You might help escort someone to an appointment or a family member’s room; offer snacks or comfort items to people in waiting areas; or help re-stock supplies (just to share a few potential tasks).

Where you may be volunteering

We place volunteers within University Hospital, Ross Heart Hospital, OSU Harding Hospital, East Hospital, and several ambulatory sites, such as the Eye & Ear Institute. There is a place in our application where you will tell us if you have transportation and can travel to off-campus locations.

Please note the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute has a separate college volunteer program. (Learn more about volunteering at The James) Students may only apply to one program or the other each semester.

When you will be volunteering

Volunteers come in once a week, the same day and time each week, over the course of an entire session (semester). Each shift is between 2 and 4 hours long depending on your activity. Most shifts fall between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays, but we do have some shifts that start as early as 5 a.m. or run as late as 10 p.m.

It will be very important to know your class, work and other activity schedules before you complete your application. We ask you to list your availability in the broadest terms possible, while being realistic about your other commitments, as we match you with an open shift based on the availability you provide in your application.

How the process works

We accept applications for new college volunteers three times a year – before the start of Autumn, Spring and Summer semesters. See the section below for important details related to our next application cycle and volunteering session.

Your very first semester volunteering with us, we select a placement for you based on a number of factors. Once you have volunteered with us a full semester and established a positive history with our program, you will be eligible to select your own role and shift for the following semester. Popular roles typically filled by our returning volunteers include: Emergency Department, Pharmacy, Surgical Prep & Recovery, Women & Infants, and Surgical Intensive Care Unit, among others.

When and how you can apply

Here are the important dates related to our next application cycle and volunteering session:

Monday, July 29, 10 a.m. – Application opens for Autumn Semester volunteering
Applications are considered in the order in which they are received, so applying earlier in the window increases your chances of being placed.

Monday, August 5, 4 p.m. – Application closes for Autumn Semester volunteering

Friday, August 16, by Noon – All applicants are notified by e-mail whether or not you have received a position. Those who receive a placement will receive instructions on how to view your assigned activity and shift.

Sunday, August 25, scheduled between 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. – Mandatory Background Checks
If you receive a placement, your welcome e-mail will contain more details about your specific background check time slot.

Sunday, August 25, 4-6 p.m. – Mandatory Orientation
We are not able to offer a make-up option for Orientation. You MUST be able to attend this session if you plan to volunteer this semester.

Tuesday, August 27, and Wednesday, August 28, 4:30-6:30 p.m. – Activity-specific training
Many (but not all) of our volunteer activities require an additional training (beyond general orientation) that will be offered on one of these two days. Being available one or both of these dates and times will increase your chances of being placed.

Tuesday, September 3 – First day of Autumn Semester volunteering

Wednesday, December 4 – Last day of Autumn Semester volunteering

Things you should have ready before you apply

Class, work, club and any other schedules. When you submit your availability, we will place you into a role and shift based on the hours you offer. We want you to feel confident that you would be able to commit to volunteering during any time slot you list – once your spot is assigned, we are not able to change your assignment or offer that spot to another student.

If you receive a placement, you should be prepared to:

  • Attend background checks and orientation on Sunday, August 25
  • Bring an original or copy of an official government-issued document showing all nine digits of your Social Security number on the day of your background check (or bring your student Visa if you are an international student and you do not have a Social Security number)
  • Attend a role-specific training on Tuesday, August 27 or Wednesday, August 28, if you indicate on your application that you are available
  • Purchase a volunteer polo ($22 plus tax)
  • Volunteer each week, September 3 through December 4
  • Get your annual flu shot later this fall. The Medical Center has a mandatory flu shot policy that will go into effect during Autumn Semester. Information on obtaining a seasonal flu vaccine at no charge will be provided to all volunteers who receive a placement. You must be prepared to comply with this policy.
If you have any questions, please contact:

Liz Solomon

Apply Here

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