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Volunteer Opportunities and Assignments

Once you have decided to give your time as a volunteer, the Volunteer Services Placement Coordinator will work with you to place you in an assignment that meets your interests, your schedule and the hospitalís needs. The availability of some volunteer positions are dependent solely on the needs of the hospital department. For more information about specific departmental needs, please contact Volunteer Services.

Some volunteer assignments may require additional qualifications. Please note that certain departments have minimum age requirements due to the scope of the duties of those volunteer positions.

Other departments or positions may require specific certifications, including but not limited to: CPR or basic First Aid. Some volunteer assignments will require you to be affiliated with and/or trained by some of our affiliated volunteer groups to hold those positions. You will be notified of any special qualifications for your assignment before a final commitment is made by you to accept your volunteer position.

A typical volunteer works one four-hour shift once each week or every other week. Most departments operate during normal business hours; therefore more assignments are available between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. After 5 p.m., and on weekends, there are fewer positions available. Many hospital departments have more specialized positions, or may need volunteers that are flexible in the duties they will perform. Some departments may need a combination of some or all of the duties listed below performed by a volunteer on a given shift.

The following are some general examples of volunteer assignments that may or may not work within your schedule:

Critical Care Waiting Area
Family members of patients in critical care units will soon have at their disposal the amenities of a new 7,200 square foot waiting area. Volunteers who serve as host or hostess will give tours of the area, assign lockers, distribute pagers, answer telephones, make coffee and serve as liaison between hospital staff and family members.

Patient Escorts and Assistants
Patients and their family members are escorted by foot or transported by wheelchair to various departments in Huntsville Hospital and Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children. Volunteers who are placed in nursing units may assist patients by providing juice, milk, water or other beverages; by distributing snacks and meals; by providing blankets, pillows and other linens; and by transporting patients to and from other areas of the hospital. Volunteers may also be asked to assist in preparing rooms for patients by restocking bed-side tables, linens and making beds. Some volunteers also provide companionship and general assistance to patients by offering videos, magazines and books; or by running errands within the hospital on the patientís behalf.

Clerical and General Office Assistance
In the clinical areas of the hospital, volunteers assist staff in performing general clerical duties by preparing or disassembling patient charts and other packets; by assisting with mail, faxing, filing, photocopying and data entry; by answering telephones; by greeting and directing patrons; and by running errands within the hospital on behalf of the nursing staff.

In non-clinical or more business-oriented areas of the hospital, volunteers assist staff in performing general clerical duties, including word processing and data entry; distributing mail, faxing, filing, and photocopying; by answering telephones; and other general office duties as required.

If you have special business-related skills, this is your opportunity to shine! There are opportunities to assist with or create databases, spreadsheets, newsletters, posters, greeting cards, MS PowerPoint presentations and more! Please contact Volunteer Services for more information.

Department Liaisons and Information Clerks
In clinical areas of the hospital, volunteers often provide a much needed human element to the clinical setting, often providing much needed information. Families are often anxious, confused and frustrated by their loved oneís illness, accident or medical situation. Having a friendly face to serve as a liaison between medical staff and the patientís family can help to make a stressful situation a little more bearable.

In public areas of the hospital and in some nursing units, volunteers staff Information Desks, where they are able to assist patrons by greeting and directing visitors, by answering telephones; looking up information on a computer and providing general information; and by distributing mail, flowers and other deliveries for patients.

Gift Shops and Fundraising Sales
Volunteers assist patrons of the hospital gift shops in selecting gifts and other merchandise; by ringing up sales using a cash register, making change and providing a receipt; by wrapping and packaging the purchased items; and by delivering items to patients in the hospital. Some volunteers are involved in selecting and purchasing items for the gift shops as well as stocking, arranging and inventorying the merchandise as it arrives or as needed.

Several times each year, the hospital will contract with private companies to put on fundraising events and special merchandise sales. These events raise much needed funds that go towards the purchase of vital equipment to improve patient care at Huntsville Hospital. Volunteers assist patrons in selecting merchandise and assist sales staff in processing employee and public purchases. Volunteers who work these sales often receive special discounts or promotions as a perk for their participation!