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Adult Volunteers

Applications for adult volunteers are currently suspended and will reopen in mid-September.

Each volunteer member assists in providing excellent care and understanding by taking the time to give patients and their families the extra help they need during their hospital stay. Give back to your community and donate your time, care and support and apply to our adult volunteer program today. Approval of all applicants is conditional upon background checks, which will be performed after the interview.


We encourage our applicants to commit to nine months to one year of volunteering in order to best serve the hospital. If you have any questions, please contact one of our adult volunteer coordinators, Donna Davis or Dawn Woody.

Please review the following requirements of our adult volunteer registration process.

  • Complete the online application

  • Complete the online prerequisite module at home
  • Attend the orientation session
  • Interview with your adult volunteer coordinator
  • Complete health assessment with UNC Medical Center Occupational Health
  • Turn in all required paperwork

Application Process

Once your application has been submitted, you will be provided a link to complete a prerequisite online compliance test.

  • When the scores for the prerequisite test have been received, a volunteer coordinator will contact you regarding the next orientation session. All orientations are held from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. at N.C. Memorial Hospital. The next orientation dates are:
    • August 20
    • September 10
    • October 8
    • November 12
    • December 10

After attending the orientation session applicants will:

  • Interview with their adult volunteer coordinator
  • Complete an online compliance test
  • Receive health clearance from UNC Medical Center Occupational Health.

Once these steps have been completed, applicants will have a final meeting with their coordinator to confirm job placement and receive a uniform and parking tag (if applicable).

When You'll Hear Back

An email will be sent immediately confirming receipt of your application. Please be sure to enter a valid email address and phone number with voice mail. We will contact you within two weeks upon receiving the results of your prerequisite test to confirm your registration for the next orientation. We ask that you apply when you are ready to begin volunteering, as we expect you to be available to begin volunteering thirty days after you apply.


Orientation is organized once a month and is held from 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. on Thursday afternoons. During this time, you will learn about the hospital, infection control, and other hospital compliance information. Within two weeks of orientation, please contact your volunteer coordinator to finalize the process. The next orientation dates are:

    • August 20
    • September 10
    • October 8
    • November 12
    • December 10

UNC Medical Center Volunteer Policies

  • Volunteers are not permitted to take photographs of any patient.
  • Volunteers are not permitted to bring unauthorized food to patients.
  • Volunteers are not allowed to plan activities that are religious in nature.

General Questions

  • How do I become a volunteer?
    After filling out an application online, you will be emailed an invitation to attend an upcoming orientation/training session. Then you will schedule an interview with the appropriate coordinator, complete a health assessment with UNC Health Care Occupational Health, and return to your coordinator to turn in required paperwork, and begin training and volunteering in your area.
  • I am in the process of looking for a job and my schedule is flexible right now; can I begin volunteering?
    We suggest that you concentrate on finding a job first, and then, once you have secured a job, you will have a better idea of your long-term availability and can determined whether volunteering will fit into your schedule.
  • I want to volunteer with my child. How can I sign up for that?
    High school and college programs are separate from the adult volunteer program and do not begin until age 14. Children under that age cannot volunteer with UNC Health Care. At this time we do not have family volunteer opportunities.
  • I need court-ordered community service hours. Can you sign off on those for me?
    Unfortunately, the hospital has a policy against accepting court-ordered volunteers.
  • I’d like to volunteer with my friends. Can I do that?
    Yes – if volunteering 1-2 times, please refer to the group volunteer page. If long-term, all adults involved need to apply individually.
  • 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 College or Adult Volunteer guidelines.
  • I’m a grad student, what volunteer programs are available for me?

    If you are a full-time graduate student and your schedule is going to change each semester, it is best that you apply with the college group. If your schedule will not be changing by the semester and you will be able to volunteer for at least 6 months, you can apply as an adult volunteer.

When and Where You Can Volunteer

  • How often do I need to come in to volunteer?
    We ask that you commit to at least one two hour shift per week for at least a year.
  • I’m only available in the evenings or on weekends; will there be anything for me to do?
    There are a few areas that can use volunteers after 5 p.m. and/or on weekends; however, 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.
  • I can only volunteer once a month. Is this a problem?
    While you won’t be able to volunteer on our traditional track, we do have some options such as Family Dinners (which are on a rotating volunteer schedule) or sewing programs. Let us know if this is something you would like to do.
  • I can only work over Christmas/summer/short-term, can I still volunteer?
    Unfortunately, due to the extensive nature of volunteer training, you need to commit to at least a year of volunteering. We do not offer short-term, temporary, or holiday volunteer opportunities. We do, however, have a few sewing and craft programs that can be done offsite or short-term.
  • Can I volunteer where my spouse/mother/son/daughter is employed?
    No, you cannot volunteer in the same department where a relative works. You can, however, still volunteer with UNC Health Care.
  • I would really like to volunteer but I live in Hillsborough/Mebane/Raleigh/etc. What can I do?
    We do have some volunteer opportunities available offsite that may be slightly closer to you. Currently we have volunteers in Chapel Hill on Manning Drive, 15-501, 54, Timberlyne (off MLK), and Hedrick Building (near the Friday Center), Eastowne, Shared Services Center, (Morrisville area). As UNC Health Care continues to expand, so will our volunteer opportunities. The Hillsborough hospital will open July 2015 so stay tuned for opportunities in that area. Additionally, we have a few “on call” projects. These include sewing/knitting/crocheting for infant and pastoral care programs, and the No One Dies Alone program.

Registration Questions

  • Where do I park? Do I have to pay for parking?
    Long-term adult volunteers can obtain a parking tag to be used in the Dogwood Visitors’ Deck. We will also take care of your parking for your initial interview and for orientation. People who are employed by or enrolled in UNC, UNC Health Care, or UNC School of Medicine are not allowed to get parking passes from us. The University owns and regulates the decks.
  • I don’t know where my shot record is, what should I do?
    After orientation when you go for your Occupational Health appointment, they will work with you to make sure you have received everything necessary. They provide the required immunizations free of charge.
  • Who has to get the flu vaccine?
    All volunteers, new and returning, MUST have the flu vaccine in order to volunteer during flu season/spring semester (January-May). Emails and notices are sent in advance informing students of when and how to turn in documentation of vaccination. UNC Health Care’s policy is that everyone must receive a flu shot.
  • Does it cost anything to be a volunteer?
    We ask that volunteers pay $10 to purchase the required uniform polo shirt or jacket in order to defray the cost to us. TB tests, flu shots, and other mandatory vaccinations are provided by Occupational Health free of charge.
  • Is there a required uniform?
    Volunteers are asked to follow a dress code which includes the volunteer polos or jackets. 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. Denim, shorts, and open toed-shoes are not allowed during volunteer shifts.

Available Opportunities

At UNC Medical Center, you will have the chance learn more about your community and the people living in it. Adult volunteers may participate in the following opportunities.

Most Current Needs

  • Various clinics at UNC Medical Center and off-site areas including customer service, greeting, navigating and assisting with check-in.
  • Flower and mail delivery to patients
  • Serving water to visitors in the lobby areas of the hospital
  • Working at the Gift Shop
  • Serving with the tea cart in the Cancer Hospital
  • Supervising the Pediatric Playroom
  • Assisting the library with book processing and patient delivery
  • Sewers are needed to make sock monkeys as well as gowns for the Infant Grief program
  • Assisting in various waiting rooms
  • Baking cookies (one or two Wednesdays a month, 1-3 p.m.)
  • Serving dinner to visitors and caregivers (5-7 p.m.)
  • Completing administrative tasks at UNC Medical Center’s campus and off-site locations (8 a.m.-4 p.m. only)

UNC Hospice Volunteers

UNC Hospice volunteers come from various backgrounds and life experiences. Their reasons for joining our team are as varied as their lives, but they all share a strong send of compassion and desire to lesson the burden of others. The many skills they have to offer are matched to important work within our hospice program.

For more information, call UNC Hospice Volunteer Services at (919) 542-5545 or email Marketta Williams.

When You're a Volunteer

  • I’m not sure where I want to volunteer in the hospital…
    That’s okay! Go ahead and apply, then when you come in for your interview we can discuss it more. You will meet with a volunteer coordinator who will talk you through it, find out your interests, and figure out where you will best fit.
  • 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 better chance of placing you where you want.
  • I speak English and Spanish, are there jobs for me?
    Yes, we love to have bilingual volunteers, as many of our patients are Spanish-speaking. We do also have a volunteer interpreter position if you are fluent.
  • How will I know what to do? Will I receive special training?
    Every volunteer goes through orientation and will receive training specific to his or her area from his or her liaison. 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 want a position that is hands-on, what can I do?
    Each job is described in the Volunteer Opportunities List . Other volunteer jobs involve serving behind the scenes assisting families and visitors, as well as providing staff support. There are also some jobs that are more clerical or office-related in nature.
  • Can I do more than one volunteer job at a time and come more than once a week?
    Generally, we only allow new volunteers to work in one service area when they begin volunteering. Once you have become acclimated to your volunteer position, we can discuss adding additional responsibilities. Please make sure that you have enough time to properly commit to both jobs.
  • 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.
  • I’m a licensed CNA/RN/phlebotomist/etc. Can I volunteer in that role?
    No, you cannot volunteer in any position that requires certification.

Current Volunteers:
Forgot to Submit Your Hours? Off-site Volunteer?

In case you forgot to log your volunteer hours in at the Volunteer Services kiosk or you volunteer off-site, you may submit hours for the adult volunteer program online.

Volunteer Stories

  • Capes-for-Heroes

    Many children dream of becoming superheroes. Thanks to California-based nonprofit Capes4Heroes and local collaborators in Chapel Hill, more than 80 pediatric patients at N.C. Children’s Hospital were able to live that dream.

    Read More

  • A Second Chance

    By rescuing Whiskey and giving her a second chance, Silvia Kreda, PhD, lung researcher at the School of Medicine, and Preston Parker are helping patients and families during illness and recovery.

    Read More

  • Elaine Hill Awards 2015

    UNC Medical Center and Volunteer Services gathered to honor Caroline Resnick and Bill Derey for the 2014 and 2015 Elaine Hill Awards.

    Read More