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, University Hospital East, 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
Here are the important dates related to our next application cycle and volunteering session:
Tuesday, April 24, 10 a.m. – Application opens for summer session
Applications are considered in the order in which they are received, so applying earlier in the window increases your chances of being placed.
Tuesday, May 1, 4 p.m. – Application closes for summer session
Friday, May 11, by Noon – All applicants are notified by e-mail whether or not they have received a position
Saturday, May 19, 7 a.m.-2 p.m. – Background checks*
Specific time slots will be assigned based on your last name. If you receive a placement, your welcome e-mail will contain more details about your assigned background check time.
Saturday, May 19, 2:30-4:30 p.m. – Mandatory Orientation*
*If you are currently a student at a college or university located outside of Ohio, returning to Columbus for the summer, and you will not yet be back in Ohio on May 19, please e-mail us to explore potential solutions.
Tuesday, May 22, and Wednesday, May 23, 4:30-6:30 p.m. – Role-specific training
Many (but not all) of our volunteer roles require a department-specific training 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.
Monday, June 4 – First day of summer session volunteering
Friday, July 27 – Last day of summer session 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 Saturday, May 19
- Bring an original or copy of an official government/bank-issued document showing all nine digits of your Social Security number on the day of your background check
- Attend a role-specific training on Tuesday, May 22 or Wednesday, May 23, if you indicate on your application that you are available
- Purchase a volunteer polo ($22 plus tax)
- Volunteer each week, June 4 through July 27
If you have any questions, please contact: