College Volunteer Program

The College Volunteer Program is designed specifically for students looking for an opportunity to partner with healthcare professionals while supporting patients and families in a healthcare environment. Volunteer positions are available throughout the Hospital, each with the goal of improving the patient and family experience while at CHOP. Opportunities for college students to volunteer are available three times a year. 

Volunteers that are currently enrolled in college or will be enrolled in college within six months of applying for volunteering are considered college students. This includes Master’s program students.

When considering application to this program, it is important that volunteer candidates know all background checks and the medical clearance must be obtained at the volunteers own cost. In addition, we would like to highlight that volunteer candidates are responsible for obtaining background checks and the medical clearance before applying. All background checks and the medical clearance must be submitted with the volunteer application in order for an application to be considered. Please refer to this document for detailed information on completing that process.

  • College Program Volunteer rotations

    For each session we will process 100 applications. The application is closed when we reach our 100 maximum or by 5 p.m. on the last application post date.

    Our current volunteer needs are Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Volunteer shifts vary according to placement. Each placement can last three to four hours.

    October through December - This will be the last 2015 rotation

    • Application will be posted on the website on Sept. 7, 2015
    • Application will be removed from the website on Sept. 11, 2015
    • Mandatory orientation for new volunteers* – Oct. 6, 2015, from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

    January through May 2016

    • Application will be posted on the website on Jan. 4, 2016, at 9 a.m.
    • Application will be removed from the website on Jan. 8, 2016, at 5 p.m.
    • Mandatory orientation for new volunteers* – Feb. 2, 2016, from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

    May through September 2016

    • Application will be posted on the website on May 2, 2016, at 9 a.m.
    • Application will be removed from the website on May 6, 2016, at 5 p.m.
    • Mandatory orientation for new volunteers* – June 7, 2016, from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

    September through December 2016

    • Application will be posted on the website on Sept. 5, 2016, at 9 a.m.
    • Application will be removed from the website on Sept. 9, 2016, at 5 p.m.
    • Mandatory orientation for new volunteers* – Oct. 4, 2016, from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

    *New Volunteer Orientation is a mandatory requirement for volunteering.

  • Application process for College Volunteer Program

    To make sure you’ve completed every step on the college student volunteer onboarding process, download and complete this onboarding worksheet.

    1. Background checks – Pennsylvania law requires all individuals working with children to complete the following background checks:  FBI Fingerprinting, PA Child Abuse Clearance, Criminal Record Check, and seven-year Social Security Trace. This process can take a couple of weeks to complete. Please have all background checks in hand and ready for submission as part of the volunteer application. College volunteer applications submitted without clearances will not be considered. See instructions for the background check process.
    2. Reference letters – Interested individuals will need to submit a minimum of two letters of recommendation from a professor and/or supervisor. These two letters will be submitted as part of the volunteer application. Microsoft Word or Portable Document Format (PDF) documents will be accepted.
    3. Medical clearance – All volunteers are required to complete a CHOP Medical Clearance Form prior to acceptance into the program. This form can be printed and taken to a medical professional for completion. The CHOP Medical Form must be submitted as part of your application. Only the CHOP Medical Form will be accepted.
    4. Attend mandatory New Volunteer Orientation
    5. Complete unit/departmental specific training
    6. Start Volunteering!
  • Flexible vs. fixed volunteer scheduling
    • Flexible scheduling –Volunteer different days and times each week, managing your schedule online. This benefits students who require flexibility. We ask that students commit to the same number of required volunteer hours each week.
    • Fixed scheduling – Volunteer the same day and time each week during the entire volunteer experience.  Fixed scheduling benefits students looking for consistency and routine.
  • College Volunteer Program placements

    Nursing inpatient and outpatient services support

    This volunteer role has two levels of service. A volunteer must complete service level I to be considered for the service level II. In order for a volunteer to be transitioned into a level II placement he/she must have volunteer for six months or longer and have a direct supervisor recommendation.

    Level I - Outpatient Services Volunteer Support

    This volunteer role enhances the experience of patients and families visiting the Hospital in an outpatient setting. In addition, this role prepares volunteers to transition into an inpatient setting provided in the level II transition.

    Volunteers provide floater support in various clinics and outpatient facilities within the Main Campus and at the new Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Medicine. A floater role allows volunteers to provide support with wayfinding, greeting, escorting of patients and families throughout campus, providing one-on-one patient and sibling support to parents and caregivers.

    Providing floater support also allows volunteers to host play activities in outpatient waiting areas and support the Buerger Welcome Center in hosting reading circles and other play activities that are managed by the Welcome Center.

    This placement offers flexible scheduling in four-hour shifts Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

    Level II - Bedside Buddy Nursing Program

    In this placement, volunteers collaborate with the nursing department Hospital-wide to support patients and families with one-on-one bedside needs. This placement relies on teamwork. Volunteers will work individually and in groups to meet Hospital needs.

    This placement offers fixed and flexible scheduling for four-hour shifts every day of the week.

    Child Life support

    Volunteers play a crucial role in the support of the Child Life profession within the Hospital’s inpatient units and outpatient areas. When volunteering in this role, a volunteer can expect to engage in play and activities at the bedside with a patient, support playroom activities, and assist with the important role of toy cleaning in order to eliminate the chance of infection. This role allows volunteers to partner with a member of the Child Life staff to normalize the Hospital environment for patients and families.

    This placement offers flexible and fixed scheduling for varying three-hour shifts every day of the week.

    Galaxy 51-Seacrest Studios

    Galaxy 51 is the patient television network found on channel 51 of any CHOP television. Programming allows children and staff to WATCH, LISTEN, and PLAY from the Hospital bedside or LIVE in Seacrest Studios, the multimedia studio located in the Hospital’s Colket Atrium. Patients are also encouraged to work with the GALAXY 51 team to create and produce their very own projects from video diaries to music videos. 

    Volunteers in this role assist patients with engaging in programming at bedside, in unit playrooms, and in the studio such as promoting tune-in with flyer distribution, hosting watch parties, assisting with call in song requests and shout outs, assisting in game play, or bringing patients to the studio from their rooms. 

    This placement offers fixed scheduling for varying three hour shifts during the studio’s hours of operation: Monday and Wednesday 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

    Occupational Therapy (Main Campus)

    Volunteers in this role collaborate with the Occupational Therapy program by supporting patients, families and staff with tasks that maintain the safety and cleanliness of the occupational therapy environment. This is a great opportunity for adults or college students looking for exposure to the Occupational Therapy profession.

    This placement offers fixed scheduling in three-hour increments.

    Reach Out and Read

    Volunteers of the Reach Out and Read program engage children of all ages with books and reading aloud in an outpatient waiting room at a primary care doctor's office in West and South Philadelphia, Burlington Township, NJ and the suburbs of Pennsylvania. Volunteer readers also help restock shelves with books. Learn more about volunteering with Reach Out and Read.

    School program

    Volunteers in this role collaborate with certified teachers throughout the Hospital to deliver school services to patients at CHOP. This is a great opportunity for adults with a teaching background.

    This placement offers flexible and fixed scheduling for varying three-hour shifts every day of the week.

    Specialty Care, Bucks County and Specialty Care, King of Prussia

    Volunteers in this role assist site staff by greeting, providing directions and information, and offering assistance to patients, families, and visitors. They also support professional services of the Child Life program or clinical staff by supporting patients, families and staff through appropriate interactive play, appropriate diversional activities, and other tasks contributing to the comfort of patients and families while waiting for appointments or during treatments.

    This placement offers fixed scheduling in three-hour increments.