Service is at the core of the Husky spirit so for our inaugural Whole U post on volunteerism, I thought I would get us started close to home by sharing more about opportunities in the UW Medicine health system.
Most medical centers in the United States rely on volunteers from the community to support their mission of service. The types of roles that a volunteer can occupy are diverse, ranging from clerical tasks that help keep hospital systems running efficiently, to supporting medical staff through delivering specimens, charts and supplies, to roles that have a high degree of patient contact. Whatever your skills and interest, there are ways for you to contribute to creating positive outcomes for UW Medicine patients and their families.
Several years ago, I experienced the human touch that volunteers help bring to the hospital experience first hand. Shortly before my 30th birthday, my mother had an accident and was hospitalized. My siblings and I rushed home from all over the country, arriving to the hospital exhausted, distraught, and scared. Volunteers were the ones who saw our panic as we arrived in the lobby, figured out where we were trying to go, and brought us through the labyrinthine hallways to find where our mother was being treated.
During the long vigil that followed, volunteers helped us to find restaurants, grocery stores, and drug stores nearby so that we could be as present as possible with our mother, and helped to match us with resources to better understand and cope. Volunteers were available when we needed someone to talk to, and were even there in the gift shop to help us figure out if we could safely bring flowers into the unit where our mother was being treated. With as emotional and disorienting a place as a hospital can be, I will never forget the difference that volunteers made in my family’s experience.
If you would like to join this corps of caring individuals, the UW Medicine health system has made the volunteer process as streamlined as possible. Specific details can be found for each medical center below, but in general the process typically involves an application and background check, followed by confirmation of vaccination, a TB test, an interview, and then orientation and training.
Thanks for considering volunteering within the UW Medicine health system! It’s a terrific way to serve the greater UW community and support those who help keep us all healthy, safe, and at our best.
Harborview Medical Center
325 Ninth Ave
Seattle, WA 98104
Minimum Time Commitment: four hours a week for six consecutive months
Additional details about volunteering at Harborview
UW Medical Center
1959 N. E. Pacific Street
Seattle, WA 98195
Minimum Time Commitment: four hours per week for three consecutive months
Note: For special insight, check out Volunteer Voice
Additional details about volunteering at UW Medical Center
Valley Medical Center
400 S. 43rd Street
Renton, WA 98058
Minimum Time Commitment: four hours per week with no specified duration
Note: Will start accepting applications for new hospital volunteers on January 15th. Currently seeking volunteers for community events.
Additional details about volunteering at Valley Medical Center
Northwest Hospital and Medical Center
1550 N. 115th Street
Seattle, WA 98133
Minimum Time Commitment: three to four hours per week for at least three months
Additional details about volunteering at Northwest Hospital
Seattle Children’s Hospital
4800 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
Minimum Time Commitment: three hours a week for at least nine months
Note: Not currently seeking volunteers
Additional details about volunteering at Children’s Hospital