Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS THE TIME COMMITMENT TO VOLUNTEER?

A minimum of 50 hours is required for the Adult Hospital & Clinics. This generally equates to a 2-3 hour shift once a week for approximately six months. College students must also commit to volunteering for AT LEAST two consecutive time periods (spring/summer, summer/fall, fall/winter, etc.)

WHAT IS THE PROCESS TO BECOMING A VOLUNTEER?

The Hospital & Clinics have a multi-step process that varies depending upon the category of volunteer you are. Please click below on the category that applies to you:

Adult
College Undergraduate
Teen
Physical/Occupational Therapy Volunteer

ARE THERE VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES DURING THE EVENING OR ON THE WEEKEND?

Yes. While your selection will be greater if you have any weekday hours to volunteer, we do have a limited number of positions that have schedule openings in the evening and on weekends. Please visit our Volunteer Opportunities page to see the schedules for specific positions.

HOW OLD DO I HAVE TO BE TO VOLUNTEER?

The minimum age is 16. If you are note yet 16, please visit our Donation Wish List for items that people and groups may collect for our patients and families.

IS VOLUNTEERING AT VANDERBILT SAFE?

Yes. We make sure all our volunteers are vaccinated against a list of common illnesses and equipped with appropriate safety gear. We educate all our volunteers about emergency situations and how to respond to them. We also offer compliance training that covers the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protecting patient privacy, among other topics.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS TO VOLUNTEERING?

  • Free flu shots and immunization screenings;
  • Discounted Metro bus ride to and from volunteer placement;
  • Job skill development;
  • Volunteer appreciation gifts and events;
  • Reference letters (upon completion of 50-hour commitment);
  • New friendships;
  • The satisfaction of knowing you helped someone; and,
  • A face lift for your spirit!

CAN MY SERVICE ORGANIZATION HELP OUT IN ANY WAY?

Yes, of course! Having a family member, friend or loved one in the hospital can be a stressful time. While families and visitors spend time in the waiting rooms at Vanderbilt University Hospital volunteers visit with them offering items of comfort. These items include snacks and activities found on the hospital activity cart. We will gladly accept any donations collected by an individual, church group, school or youth group, service organization, etc. Please visit our Donation Wish List to see the kind of items we can most use.

Andy Peterson with bags

Gift Bags, sponsored by local church and assembled by Apollo Middle School 4th & 5th grade classes

WHERE ELSE CAN I VOLUNTEER AT VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER?

We have volunteer opportunities at our Adult Hospital & Clinics, the Monroe J. Carell Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, and Vanderbilt Health at One Hundred Oaks. We ask that your initial placement be at only one campus at a time. While volunteering at a hospital is rewarding, it's very demanding and unlike other volunteer experiences. It takes time and focus to get used to the pace and environment, and is easier to do if you're at one campus in the beginning. After your initial commitment has been met, a Volunteer Services staff member can meet with you to discuss adding or changing to a placement at a different campus.

HOW DO I SHADOW AT VANDERBILT?

To find out more about the Observational Experience (or Shadowing) at Vanderbilt University Hospital, please click here.

WHOM SHOULD I CALL TO LEARN MORE?

1005 Oxford House
Nashville, TN 37232-4785
(615) 936-3078

Vanderbilt Health One Hundred Oaks
719 Thompson Lane
Suite 24210
Nashville, TN 37204
(615) 936-4800