University of California San Francisco | About UCSF | UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco
Search Site | Find a Doctor

Volunteering

Volunteers come to UCSF Medical Center, UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital for many reasons but most come to help others and contribute to the community. In addition, volunteers can learn about the medical profession and to be a part of a team dedicated to providing the highest quality health care.

Orientations

Orientations are currently full. Please check our website on Monday, May 5th regarding the status of orientation for our year-round program.

Summer Volunteer Program

Thank you for your interest in UCSF's Summer Student Volunteer Program. All 150 applications were distributed on April 7, the first day requests were made available. Our Summer Student application process is now complete.

Commitment

All volunteer assignments have a minimum commitment of six consecutive months. Volunteers must serve at least three to four hours a day on the same day each week. The only exception is the eight-week Summer Student Volunteer Program for high school students.

Age Requirement

Most volunteer assignments have a minimum age requirement of 16. Volunteers must be 18 years of age to work in Child Life Services, Cancer Resource Center at Mount Zion and Emergency Department. The Summer Student Program is open to high school students age 14 and older.

Volunteer Requirements

Orientation

All volunteer candidates must attend an orientation prior to placement. Orientations are held quarterly. Attending an orientation, however, does not guarantee that you will be placed as a volunteer.

Health

Volunteers must provide proof of the following health and immunization records:

  • Negative Tuberculin (TB) Tests — Two negative TB skin tests are required — one within the past year and another within the past three months, or a negative QuantiFeron blood test. If you have a positive TB skin test, you must have a negative chest X-ray report within the past year.
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) — Two vaccinations or positive blood titer. A titer is a test that measures your immune system's ability to protect against a disease or infection. .
  • Chicken Pox (Varicella) — Proof of two vaccinations or positive blood titer.
  • Tetanus, Diptheria and Pertussis or Whooping Cough (Tdap) — Must document that this vaccination was administered after 2005, when pertussis or whooping cough was added.
  • Flu Vaccine — Required during flu season.
  • Hepatitis B Series — Required for volunteers in the Emergency Department.

Recommendation Form

If you're a student, you must provide a completed recommendation form, which will be in your student application packet.

Interview

After completing the health requirements and attending an orientation, please schedule an interview with a staff member of Volunteer Services to determine the best placement for you. You'll meet with the supervisor of a selected department to discuss training and potential work schedule.

Fingerprinting

Fingerprinting is required for volunteers age 18 and older working in pediatrics and gift stores. Volunteer Services will make arrangements for you to be fingerprinted, if needed.

Examples of Parnassus Volunteer Opportunities

Brew Crew

Volunteers visit adult patients in the hospital and offer families complimentary beverages and conversation.

Clinic Amenity Cart

Visit clinic waiting rooms to offer beverages, snacks and reading materials to patients and family members.

Emergency Department (Currently Full)

Help make patients comfortable in the Emergency Department by offering pillows, blankets and reading materials and serving food trays. Volunteers also assist with stocking supplies and serve as "runners" to labs, Radiology and Nutrition and Dietetics. They also serve as liaisons between families and staff. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and make a minimum six-month commitment.

Falls and Safety Team

Check on patients identified as high risk for falls. Each volunteer is trained by a nurse to assist patients regarding safety and the prevention of falls. Volunteers must be comfortable interacting and conversing with a diverse, hospital patient population.

Gift Shop

Assist customers with purchases; help with displays, gift-wrapping and stocking supplies; and deliver gifts to patients in the hospital.

Guest Services — Ambassador Program

Greet and assist patients and visitors in the busy clinics or Surgical Waiting Room.

Guest Services — Patient Information Desk

Provide information to visitors regarding patient, doctor and department locations as well as answer and transfer phone calls.

Hospital Nursing Units

Provide administrative support — filing, copying and collating forms. Volunteers may assist nurses with basic care such as serving and collecting patient meal trays, transporting patients, making beds and running errands. Volunteers must attend a Nursing Training Session before volunteering in a hospital unit. Volunteers must be self-directed and able to work independently.

Morning Newspaper Round

Volunteers visit adult hospital units to provide complimentary newspapers to patients and family members. This position involves extensive patient contact.

Music is Good Medicine

Volunteers sing or play instruments to comfort patients at the bedside.

Rest Assured

Visit hospital patients in the evening and provide options for non-medication sleep support such as warm beverages, hand and foot rubs and soothing music. Training is provided by a nurse.

Child Life Services

Child Life Services offers programs to meet the developmental and emotional needs of children and to make the hospital experience a positive one for patients and their families. Pediatric volunteers must be at least 18 years old. There is a six-month minimum commitment for Child Life Services positions.

  • All Stars Creative Arts Room — Volunteers assist patients and their siblings with playing games, music, art projects, navigating the Internet and other electronic fun.
  • Family Resource Room — Provide family members information and library resources about health, illness and coping with hospitalization.
  • In Stitches — Help teach or learn how to knit with a group of parents taking a break from the stress of having a child in the hospital.
  • Pediatric Playroom — Engage children through therapeutic play, recreational activities and arts and crafts. The playroom is a safe, stress-free environment for children. Volunteers also help provide activities to patients at bedside, particularly those who are unable to leave their rooms for medical reasons.
  • Pediatric Prepare — Help prepare children for surgery using board games, video games, stories and art projects.
  • Ronald McDonald House Coffee Cart — Round on pediatric floors offering parents beverages and warm conversations.
  • School Program — Work with patients and siblings on homework and education activities in the School Program, Pediatric Dialysis Unit and in hospital patient rooms. The school is staffed by teachers, credentialed by the state Department of Education, who work with each child's school to ensure class requirements are met.
  • Scrapbooking — Help parents create memories by setting up supplies for a weekly scrapbooking group and assisting with scrapbooking at the bedside.
  • Teen Lounge — Encourage teens to participate in activities, listen to music, play video games and interact with other teens. The lounge is for patients and siblings 13 years of age and older.

Examples of Mount Zion Volunteer Opportunities

Art for Recovery

Encourage patients to express themselves in Art for Recovery through creative projects such as painting, journal writing, poetry, music and quilting for the Breast Cancer Quilt Project. Volunteers may work with patients at the bedside, waiting area or in the Infusion Center. For more information, contact Cynthia Perlis, director of Art for Recovery, at cynthia.perlis@ucsfmedctr.org

Caring Across Medical Centers

Visit patients in the surgical, cancer and long-term care units in the hospital and provide complimentary amenities. Volunteers bring amenities from the Volunteer Services at Parnassus to Mount Zion via the UCSF shuttle.

Friend to Friend Cancer Boutique

Assist customers with purchases and gift wrapping. Help set up displays and stock supplies.

Guest Services — Ambassador Program

Greet, escort and assist patients and visitors at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and Women's Resource Center. Volunteers also may assist with the lunch program in the Infusion Center where patients undergo chemotherapy.

Ida and Joseph Friend Cancer Resource Center

Provide information, emotional support and community resources to cancer patients and their families and friends. The Ida and Joseph Friend Cancer Resource Center has an extensive multi-media library, specialized database for research, classes and support groups.

Summer Student Program

Students from Bay Area high schools can make a difference while learning valuable job skills in UCSF Medical Center's Summer Student Program.

Volunteers must be high school students between the ages of 14 and 18. The minimum commitment is three hours a day. Volunteers must serve the same day each week for eight consecutive weeks. Orientations are held in June.

For application information, contact Volunteer Services at (415) 353-1196 on the first Monday in April.

The following are examples of student assignments:

  • Book and Craft Cart
  • Brew Crew
  • Caring Across Medical Centers
  • Clinic Amenity Cart
  • Gift Stores
  • Guest Services — Patient Ambassador
  • Guest Services — Patient Information Desk
  • Patient Newspaper Delivery
  • Patient Visitor Program

If you work in a UCSF Medical Center department and would like to have a volunteer in your unit or would like to discuss volunteer utilization, please contact the Volunteer Services (415) 353-1196.

You can recognize a volunteer by submitting a H.E.A.R.T.S. (Honoring Exceptional And Random Treasured Service) form.

Related Information

Contact Us

Volunteer Services
UCSF Medical Center at Parnassus and Mount Zion
505 Parnassus Ave., Room M-167
Box 0208
San Francisco, CA 94143-0208

Office Hours: 8 a.m. – noon,
1 – 5 p.m., Monday to Friday

Phone: (415) 353-1196
Fax: (415) 353-8943

Vicki Kleemann, director of Volunteer Services
Debbie Gin, coordinator of Volunteer Services

Recognize a volunteer by submitting a H.E.A.R.T.S. (Honoring Exceptional And Random Treasured Service) form.