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College Volunteers FAQ

Check out the common questions below for many useful answers.

College Student Volunteer FAQ

For questions pertaining to Current/Returning Volunteers click here.

General Questions
Registration Questions
Requirements and Process
General Questions


Where is the Volunteer Services office located?
We are located on the ground floor of the Main (Memorial) Hospital behind the escalators and dental clinic. You can ask any information desk how to find us if you need to.
How do I become a volunteer?
Applicants need to complete all of the following steps in order to become a volunteer at UNC Healthcare.  Please note that the steps needed to become a volunteer are listed in the order that they must be completed. This information is located on the College Volunteer Application Process site.
Do I have to be a UNC-CH student to volunteer in the college program?
No, students from any college are welcome to apply. We are able to offer parking to non-UNC-CH students only.
How many hours do I have to volunteer per semester?
As a hospital volunteer, you will be expected to complete a minimum of 25 hours per semester during the academic school year and 40 hours over the summer session. This will amount to approximately 2.5/3 hour-shifts on a weekly basis during the year and 4/5 hour shifts during the summer.
What if I don’t get the amount of hours required?
If you do not complete the minimum hours you will be penalized and asked to sit out the next full semester (spring/fall). If you choose to re-register after sitting out a semester, you will have to go through walk-in registration.
Can I volunteer after mid-semester? Are there short-term opportunities?
Unfortunately, no. Our deadlines are set at the beginning of the UNC-Chapel Hill school semester so that you will have enough weeks to complete the required minimum hours. Mandatory orientation is offered each semester.

What is the volunteer commitment?

Volunteers commit to complete a minimum number of hours each semester and to be prompt, courteous, and in good attendance each week for the duration of the semester (though you are not expected to work over breaks or holidays). Our volunteers are committed to being friendly, willing, and go-getters each shift, so we hope you are too!

What benefits do volunteers enjoy?
-       Satisfaction of helping others
-       Making new friends and developing job skills
-       Opportunity to work in the medical/healthcare field
-       Various discounts for movie tickets, amusement parks, theatre tickets
-       Scholarship opportunities for rising seniors
What do I do about parking?
Parking (free or otherwise) is not available to UNC Chapel Hill students in the hospital parking decks as per the University’s regulations. Many buses go to and from UNC Hospitals and walking or getting a ride are always options. UNC students volunteering after 5:00pm may try to look for parking in designated lots on campus. Students from other colleges may obtain a free parking pass. More information about transportation options can be found on this site.
I am only here for part of the summer or the first summer session, can I still volunteer as long as I volunteer 40 hours?
Unfortunately, no. We ask that volunteers commit to the whole summer (both summer UNC-CH sessions) so that volunteers get the most out of their experience and can provide service for a significant amount of time. The areas we serve count on a continuous and consistent volunteer throughout both summer sessions. Though, you are welcome to volunteer past the second summer session!
Registration Questions
How long is the registration process?
Walk-in registration is a one or two day time period where hundreds of students come in person to the Volunteer Services office to register in person. Walk-in registration may take several hours. Please be prepared to spend a significant amount of time in line. We place students in an area/shift during the registration period. Students do not need to come both days; just simply walk-in during the times listed on the front page and wait until we can process you with all your paperwork and place you into a volunteer position. Orientation occurs the week after and volunteering begins about two weeks after registration.
How do I get a volunteer application?
Volunteer applications can be found on our website under the tab “College Volunteers”  near the end of the page.
Can I mail in my application?
No, applications for new volunteers need to completed and submitted online (please see the Application Process page) before the deadline, usually a week prior to walk-in registration. Returning volunteers will email in their application.
Can I register without my TB Test?
No. All volunteers must bring the TB test results with them to registration. The TB test is required by the hospital and can be obtained at campus health, some pharmacies, or your healthcare provider. The test is read two days after it is administered, so plan ahead! The test results must be read within a year.
I took my TB test and it won’t be read in time for registration, can I still register?
No, you must bring the results with you before you can be registered. But hold on to it for next semester! Results must be within the past year.
I have the BCG Vaccine. Do I still need the TB test?
Yes, you still need a TB test; proof of BCG Vaccine is not sufficient. Applicants must have a TB test result prior to registration, the Quantiferon Gold TB Test or a chest X-ray result within the past few years. BCG vaccine is not guaranteed to protect for a lifetime, so UNCH requires all volunteers and employees to have medical clearance regardless of having the vaccine.
I don’t have my medical records here, what do I do?
In order to be registered, you must have the Immunization Review Form filled out. You can contact your healthcare provider, parent/guardian, or whoever would have a copy of the information you need to complete the form. The form can be found here.
Will I be able to register mid-semester?
Unfortunately, no. Our deadlines are set at the beginning of the semester so that you will have enough weeks to complete the required minimum hours. We also only offer orientation once at beginning of the semester, which is mandatory before you may volunteer.
Requirements and Process
Some areas require juniors and seniors only, but I have experience in that field, can I volunteer in that department?
Not until you are a junior/senior! Our areas will sometimes have specific guidelines like “only Jr./Sr.” to make sure that you fit their needs and we respect their requirements by not making exceptions. All job criteria are outlined in the College Opportunities List.
I can’t make orientation, what I can do?
The dates are listed on our website so you can plan ahead and arrange your schedule to be there. You must attend one of the orientations before you can begin. If you know well in advance and tell us that you will not be able to make orientation due to a class conflict, we might have options. Otherwise, if you can’t make it, we will see you next semester!
Does it cost anything to be a volunteer?
We ask that volunteers pay $10 to purchase the required uniform polo shift in order to defray the cost to us.
Is there a required uniform?
Yes, our volunteers are asked to follow the same dress code as employees, in addition to wearing their respective volunteer polos. ID badges must be worn at all times, above the waist. The polo may be paired with khaki or dress pants/long capris or skirts that fall below the knee. No denim, shorts, or open toed-shoes are allowed during volunteer shifts.   
What about training?

At registration you will receive a printout with information pertaining to your area, contact liaison, and any special training needed. Before you begin your assignment, you'll receive training at orientation for general hospital protocols, safety, and infection control. Each area has a job description that outlines the duties and expectations. Once in your area, you will be given further details about your job duties; some have a separate training and others are on-the-job.

I volunteered previously and would like to return. What do I need to do?
If you sat out a semester because you did not meet the minimum required hours of service, you must come in through walk-in registration. If you are in good standing, have volunteered within the last year, and did not sit out a semester because you failed to meet the minimum hour requirements, you may register with returning volunteers through an email process. An email from the student coordinator is sent a month or two prior to the start of the new semester of volunteering.  Exceptions need to be addressed to the Student Coordinator. 
Can I skip a semester and remain in good standing?
Yes, at each registration period, emails are sent to returners who volunteered within the past year to register for the coming semester.
All volunteers, new and returning, MUST have the flu vaccine in order to volunteer during flu season/spring semester (January-April) .  Emails and notices are sent in advance informing students of when and how to turn in documentation of vaccination.
I want a position that is hands-on, what can I do?
Each job is described in the College Volunteer Opportunities List. Some entail direct contact with patients; others, serving behind the scenes; and still others, assisting families and visitors and providing staff support. There are some jobs that are more clerical or office-related in nature, but there are also quite a few that will give you the opportunity to be more “hands-on” with patients and healthcare providers. Read through the jobs and see which ones might interest you.
I’m a part-time student, what volunteer programs are available for me?
Students who are not taking a full course load and whose schedules do not change by the semester can volunteer under the Adult Volunteer guidelines.
I’m a grad student, what volunteer programs are available for me?
If you are a graduate student and and you will be able to volunteer for at least 6 months, you can apply as an adult volunteer.
Can I do more than one volunteer job at a time? Come more than once a week?
Generally, we only allow new volunteers to work in one service area their first time volunteering. During the summer, if you are a new volunteer, since we have less students, we are better able to accommodate requests for more than one area from new volunteers. If you are a returning volunteer and if it works with the available spots and your schedule, you are allowed to volunteer in more than one area/shift throughout the year. Please make sure though that you have enough time to properly commit to both jobs. Also, there may be times when it works for you and for us to split your shift over two days and that is perfectly alright, though not common.
Do I always get the volunteer position I want?
We will try our best to place you in an area that you are interested in, but understand that with the restrictions of your availability, the number of volunteers, and the spots available in certain areas (sometimes only a handful), you may not always get your first choice (or even second). We ask that you put at least three choices on your application so we have a higher chance of getting you in a place you want. Sometimes the most satisfying positions are the unexpected; we have many volunteers who tried something that wasn’t on their list and ended up really excited about it. Be open!
Are there volunteer positions on the weekends or evenings?
There are a few areas that can use volunteers after 5:00pm and/or on weekends, but the more flexible you can be the better. If you sign up for one of those areas think about how realistic it would be for you to come at night or on the weekends every week. Please check out the opportunities list for options.
Do you offer the opportunity to shadow physicians or observe in a clinical setting?
Volunteer Services does not arrange any shadowing. Interested parties must contact Hospital Departments individually to set up shadow experiences. Once a department agrees to work with a shadow visitor, the visitor must fill out a confidentiality form and read the guidelines. The site for this can be found here.
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