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

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 small, non-clinical things we can do 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 a full 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 midnight.

It will be very important to know your class, work and other activity schedules before your 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 Fall, 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

In an effort to enhance our volunteer experience, we are taking a brief hiatus from accepting new college volunteers this summer (2019). Our department is implementing our strategic plan by researching best practices in healthcare volunteering, exploring improvements to our volunteer selection and placement processes and realigning our volunteer roles to best meet the needs of the medical center while providing an unparalleled volunteer experience.

Since summer is our shortest session, and involves the fewest volunteers, it is the most logical time for us to pause new volunteer onboarding so as to minimize the impact to our patients, visitors and staff. We will be accepting new volunteers for Autumn Semester. Please visit this page again in July for updated information regarding when and how to apply for Autumn Semester volunteering.
Thank you for your patience as we work to make our volunteer experience even better for you and our patients.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Liz Solomon

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