Frequently Asked Questions

Becoming a Volunteer

How do I become a volunteer?

After filling out the appropriate online application (see next question) you will receive an automated email about next steps. These steps include completing virtual orientation and compliance modules as well as gathering/providing required immunizations and testing. Once those steps are completed and verified, you will interview with a volunteer coordinator to discuss placement and can start volunteering after being added to a schedule.

What type of volunteer am I?

There are three types of volunteers: Community, Junior, and Undergraduate.

  • Community Volunteers - anyone 18+ years old who is not in high school or enrolled in an undergraduate program at a college/university
  • Junior Volunteers - high school students who are at least 14 years old and finished their freshman year by the time of volunteering
  • Undergraduate Volunteers - students that have completed high school and are enrolled in an undergraduate program at a college/university

I am in the process of looking for a job/going back to school and currently have a flexible schedule; however, I am unsure what it will look like in a month or so. Can I begin volunteering now?

We suggest you concentrate on finding a job or going back to school first. Once you have a better idea of your long-term availability you can determine whether volunteering will fit into your schedule.

I cannot volunteer the required commitment, but could volunteer more often for a shorter period of time. Can that work instead?

No, we do not have short-term or episodic volunteering. This is in effort to maintain consistent volunteer coverage throughout the year.

Is there a cost to volunteer?

Unfortunately, yes. Volunteers must pay for their background check ($15), as well as any missing immunizations/tests that are required and not covered by their insurance. If you have concerns or questions about this, please contact us at volsvcs@unchealth.unc.edu.

When and Where

What is the required time commitment to volunteer?

Specific time commitments vary based on the volunteer position and area; however, most require at least one, weekly shift of 2-3 hours. Check out the Community, Undergraduate, or Junior volunteer pages for more information.

Are there evening or weekend volunteer opportunities?

Yes! There are areas that request volunteers on weekends or after 5 pm. Review the opportunities page for more information on places and times.

Are there volunteering opportunities for those who speak English and Spanish fluently?

Yes, you can speak English and Spanish in almost any volunteer area. However, our Conexiones Program is a perfect fit for those seeking bilingual specific volunteer opportunities. A Spanish assessment is required prior to placement in the program. Please contact volsvcs@unchealth.unc.edu for additional information.

Can I volunteer where my partner or relative is employed?

No, you cannot volunteer in the same department where your partner or relative works. However, you can still volunteer with UNC Health.

I currently work with UNC Health or the University. Can I still volunteer?

Yes, but you cannot volunteer in an area where you also work.

If you work with UNC Health, you do not need to fulfill all of the onboarding requirements to begin volunteering. Once you apply, the automated email will indicate which steps are required for employees.

Am I able to volunteer with my child/friends/co-workers?

No, at this time we do not have group or family volunteer opportunities.

I need court-ordered community service hours. Can you sign-off on those for me?

No, the hospital is unable to accept court-ordered volunteering.

I’m a licensed CNA/RN/phlebotomist/etc... Can I volunteer in that role?

No, you cannot complete tasks that require a licensure, even if you have that licensure, while volunteering.

Onboarding

What if I submitted an application but did not receive an automated email?

Automated emails may go directly to spam, junk, or trash folders instead of the inbox. We suggest looking in these folders first, but if you still cannot find it, contact volsvcs@unchealth.unc.edu to let us know. 

I don’t know where my vaccination records are, what should I do?

Check with your primary care physician, local health department, or college/university to review the required immunizations and determine if they are able to provide them. Feel free to contact us at volsvcs@unchealth.unc.edu with any questions or concerns. 

I had TB testing in the past. Will the results fulfill the TB testing requirement?

Applicants must provide record of two 2-step tuberculin (TB) skin tests or one IGRA blood test performed within the past 12-months.

  • The two 2-step TB skin tests take about two weeks and requires 4 visits to your health provider.
    Note: The 2nd TB skin test must be placed at least one week after the 1st test was read.
  • An IGRA blood test may take up to 5 days and 1 visit.

Watch this video to learn more about our TB testing requirements.

Do I have to get the flu vaccine? If so, when?

UNC Health Policy requires all volunteers to get an annual flu vaccine in order to volunteer during flu season. Flu season typically begins in September/November and ends in April/May. Communication is sent to volunteers about when and how to turn in documentation of the vaccination.

Will I get the volunteer position I want?

We will try our best to place you in an area you are interested in, but understand that due to restrictions with your availability, the number of volunteers, and the spots available in certain areas (sometimes only a handful), you may not get your first choice (or even second). We ask that you list three choices on your application so there is a better chance of placing you in an area of interest.

Is there a required uniform?

Volunteers must follow a dress code which consists of a polo and ID badge that are provided to you, pants/long capris or skirts that fall below the knee, and closed-toed shoes. Jeans, leggings, workout gear, sweatpants, scrub pants, and shorts are not allowed while volunteering.

How will I know what to do? Will I receive special training?

Every volunteer completes general hospital training on protocols, safety, and infection prevention. We also provide a volunteer assignment description which outlines area specific duties and expectations. Once in your assigned area, you will receive further details about duties. Some areas have a separate training, but most are on-the-job.

Current Volunteers

Can I add another volunteer assignment or come more than once a week?

Generally, we place volunteers in one service area when they begin. Adding an additional area or hours can be discussed with your coordinator once you become a more seasoned volunteer. Additional shifts or areas result in a commitment of more hours.

Do you offer opportunities to shadow physicians or observe in a clinical setting?

This program is currently on hold and we are working to bring it back. Once shadowing restarts, interested parties must contact hospital departments individually to set up shadow experiences. Volunteer Services does not arrange any shadowing. You may visit the Shadowing webpage to review general information but note that some policies will change before the program is reinstated.

Where do I park? Do I have to pay for parking?

If you are not affiliated with UNC or UNC Health, you qualify to have your parking paid for by Volunteer Services. This will be discussed during your placement interview. Those employed by or enrolled in UNC-CH, UNC Health, or UNC School of Medicine are not allowed to park in the Dogwood Deck. UNC-CH regulates all parking; therefore, we are unable to assist with parking passes or tickets. UNC Hillsborough has free parking for everyone.

Do I need to volunteer on holidays?

Volunteers are not expected to volunteer on holidays; however, most areas within the hospital will operate as usual. If you would like to volunteer on a holiday, please do! Check with your area if you are unsure if they will be open.

As for Wellness Days, Fall Break, Spring Break, etc., your volunteer area will expect you to be onsite unless you tell them otherwise.

Ensure you inform your Volunteer Coordinator and area Liaison about any absences. Volunteers should take into account any time that is missed as make-up shifts may be necessary to meet the hour requirement. 

I’ve been exposed to, have symptoms of, or tested positive for COVID. How will this affect my volunteering?

UNC Health has very specific protocols for COVID-related inquiries that, just like the virus, are constantly evolving. Please contact your coordinator or volsvcs@unchealth.unc.edu for the most recent protocol.

Contact Information

Email: volsvcs@unchealth.unc.edu

Phone: (984) 974-4793

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