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UW Health SMPH
American Family Children's Hospital

Volunteer Opportunities

At University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics and American Family Children's Hospital, our volunteers play an important role in the overall success of our organization. They assist patients, their families, and visitors to our facilities and are valued members of the health care team.


Positions available to 14- to 15-year-olds indicated with *

Positions available to 16- to 17-year-olds indicated with +


Volunteer Positions: UW Hospital and Clinics


VolunteerArt Program

Assist Artist-in-Residence with projects throughout hospital. Must be an artist, art major in college, or former art student.


Carewear Host

Volunteers here will have the opportunity to support the service of UW Health CareWear by providing retail service and support to patients, visitors, and staff. Open to women only.


Communion Distribution

Catholic volunteers are specially trained by their parish for this job and further trained by ministers. Volunteers typically take one three-hour shift per week to distribute communion to Catholic patients who request it.


Daily Friendly Visitor

Provide a friendly visit to long-term patients or to those who have family living far away. Volunteer can become a "buddy" to a frequent patient, or can come in to visit a variety of patients one time per week. Must have six months of prior volunteering experience at UW Hospital to be eligible for this position.


Dogs On Call
Provides therapeutic interactions between patients, visitors, staff and registered Pet Partners dog and handler teams.


UW Health Volunteer Services: Emergency room volunteerEmergency Department (ED) Patient/Family Liason

Patient/Family Liaison volunteers facilitate communication and support to families and patients in the ED, providing a human touch and contact during times of extraordinary stress. Minimum of one year commitment.


Volunteer flower cartFlower Delivery, Diversions and Greeting Cards +

Volunteers deliver flowers, gift arrangements, and online greeting cards sent to the hospital.


Gift Shop *+

The Gift Shop provides many opportunities to interact with patients, visitors, and staff. The Gift Shop volunteer operates a cash register (training is provided) and helps to maintain an attractive display of items. This assignment requires an interest in retailing, ability to handle money, and willingness to interact with customers.


Heart and Vascular Care Greeter +

Facilitate communication and provide support and information to patients, family, and staff as they arrive to the clinic or to the inpatient unit.


Infusion Center

Assist staff with outpatients coming in for infusions and IV therapy.


Inpatient Unit Host

Volunteers assist and offer support to adult inpatients and nursing staff by visiting with patients, answering call lights, passing meal trays, filling out meal menus, distributing patient mail, greeting families, escorting discharged patients to main entrance, etc. Requires an additional formal orientation before starting. Inpatient Unit Hosts are currently located on the following units:

  • Acute Medical and Progressive Care
  • Burn Unit
  • Cardiac
  • Family Practice
  • General Medicine/Geriatrics
  • General Surgery
  • Gynecology/Urology/Plastics/ENT
  • Hematology/Oncology/Bone Marrow Transplant
  • Neurosurgery/Ophthalmology/Neuro ICU
  • Orthopedics
  • Physical Rehabilitation
  • Transplant
  • Trauma

Lab Host and Cancer Center Lab Host

Volunteers provide customer service to patients visiting the blood drawing lab, offer help, and often can provide escort to next appointment.


VolunteersMain Information Desk *+

This desk is located inside the hospital's main entrance. It is the first stopping place for inpatients and visitors. The staff at this desk is assisted by volunteers who help handle desk activities, i.e., answering questions, giving out patient room numbers and telephone numbers, and assisting patients as needed. The people at this desk help make a positive and pleasant first impression of UWHC and gain an excellent familiarity of the hospital.


Musical Medicine *+

Volunteers provide musical entertainment in the Atrium Lobby and for inpatient units. Audition required.


MyChart (University Station) *+

Greet families and visitors to the clinic. Ensure that the parents for pediatrics are familiar with proxy access for their children and that they are introduced to MyChart options.


Navigator *+

Greet patients and visitors as they enter the hospital, provide directions to locations around the hospital, escort visitors and patients to the appropriate locations, and provide any other needed assistance.


Nutrition Services

Must be a nutrition student in college or a retired nutritionist to qualify for this job. Provide assistance with special projects and office help.


Occupational Therapy and OT/PT Hand Clinic

Provide office, inpatient and clinical support duties that do not require a therapist to oversee. This assignment requires that the volunteer be interested in OT as a career or be a retired P.T. Volunteers assist staff with adaptive equipment construction, project preparation, maintaining clinic, and craft supplies. Positions at UW Hospital and Park Street Clinics.


Outpatient Clinics

There is a growing trend toward treatment of patients in outpatient settings. Under the guidance and direction of the staff, volunteers assist in various ways depending on the specific needs of each clinic. These volunteers anticipate patient needs to assure a pleasant experience at UW Hospital and Clinics, assist with escorting, answering phones, charting and running errands necessary for the smooth operation of a clinic. Good communication and teamwork between the volunteer and clinic staff is essential. Following is a list of clinics that use volunteers:

  • ENT Clinic 
  • First Day Surgery/Ambulatory Surgery Center
  • Lung Cancer Clinic +
  • Middleton Clinic Lobby
  • Orthopedic Clinic
  • Orthotics Clinic (Must be pre-ortho student)
  • Pediatric Clinic (University Station) +
  • Procedure Center
  • West Clinic Lab

Outpatient Pharmacy*

Volunteers will provide customer service, greet patients and visitors to the pharmacy, offer help, and answer non-medical questions. Training is provided, pharmacist training not needed. Positions available at UW Hospital Pharmacy, East and West Clinics, UHS-Lucky Bldg, South Park Street and University Station. Minimum of six-month commitment


Patient Activity Distribution * +
Organize and maintain print media for patient library; distribute books, magazines and other activities to patient rooms and waiting areas.


Physical Therapy

Volunteers must be interested in physical therapy as a career. Volunteers assist staff with assigned elementary patient activities, maintaining equipment, transportation of patients in wheelchairs, and occasional clerical duties. Positions are available at the UW Hospital inpatient setting, Middleton Rehabilitation Clinic, PT Spine Clinic, Princeton Club East and West, and Sports Medicine Center (Research Park Facility - 621 Science Dr). Note: These positions fill up very quickly.


Psychiatric Unit - Inpatient
Run activity groups for patients. Training will be provided.


Social Work/Power-of-Attorney for Health Care

Assist staff with informational booths and handouts to assist patients in filling out proper forms. Positions available at UW Hospital and West Clinic locations.


STaR Program
Provides personal interaction with the geriatric patient population. Volunteer must have six months prior experience at UW Hospital before obtaining this position.


VolunteersTrauma Life Center Waiting Room

This program is designed to provide convenient, comfortable waiting areas for families and friends of patients. The TLC volunteer provides a human touch and contact during a time of extraordinary stress. Since the waiting room is physically away from the unit, the nurses do not always know when family members arrive. Also, family often arrives well before the patient, especially with trauma patients. The volunteer will provide support to family members who are visiting day after day as well as keep the waiting area organized. The volunteer will be the "eyes and ears" for social work, pastoral services, and nursing.

 Volunteer Services Department Assistant *+

Light clerical support to a very busy office. Great experience for folks needing office experience or heading for a career in Human Resources. Must be detail-oriented, comfortable with computers and able to accurately file paperwork.


Wigs for Patients Program 

Volunteers assist patients with choice, fitting and care of wigs, turbans and scarves (available at no cost to patient). Training provided.



American Family Children's Hospital Volunteer Positions


UW Health Volunteer Services: Playroom volunteerBingo
Provide weekly bingo activities to children.
Book Cart
Update books in the carts located around the hospital.
Emergency Department (ED) Child Life
Patient/Family Liaison volunteers facilitate communication and support to families and patients in the ED, providing a human touch and contact during times of extraordinary stress. Minimum of one-year commitment.
Family Meals/Frozen Treats
Assist in setting up, serving, and cleaning up the family meal and treats.
Fitness Clinic
Help exercise physiologists during the after-school fitness program. Located at 621 Science Drive.
Gift Shop +
Assist customers and the organization needs at American Family Children's Hospital gift shop. This assignment requires an interest in retailing, ability to handle money, and willingness to interact with customers.
Guest Depot *
Greet patients and families and assist them with American Family Children's Hospital resources.
Hospital School
Assist teachers with tutoring school-age and teen patients in the hospital. Positions only available during school year.
UW Health Volunteer Services: Book cart volunteersInpatient Rehabilitation Services
Help meet rehab needs by assisting staff with therapy treatments, preparation for treatments and cleaning/organizing equipment and therapy rooms. Prefer PT students or retired PT.
Kohl's Safety Center *
Assist staff with stocking and organizing. Assist customers with purchasing and education on home safety products, car seats, and bike helmets.
Pediatric Specialty Clinics 
Provide activities to children waiting for their appointment.
Pet Pals
The Pet Pals program brings volunteer dogs to visit pediatric patients at American Family Children’s Hospital. Pet Pals visits are designed to help children and their families minimize the pain and emotional trauma associated with hospitalization.
Assist staff with stocking and greeting customers.
Playroom (P4, P5, Surgery and Diagnostic and Therapy Center) 
Provide play activities and interaction with children visiting the playrooms.
Positive Image Center
Assist an image consultant to provide a comfortable environment in the center and assist with services for patients and families. 
Reach Out and Read
Read to children to help make literacy promotion a standard part of pediatric primary care so that children grow up with books and a love of reading. Positions available at American Family Children's Hospital and Madison-area clinics.
Teen Patient Activity
Assist the Child Life and nursing staff in offering teen inpatients with age appropriate activities in teen lounge and at bedside.
Tyler's Place Sibling Care Center 

Help meet the psychosocial and emotional needs of siblings of hospitalized children by assisting Child Life Staff with individual and small group activities in Tyler’s Place.

Unit Volunteer (D4C4, P4, P5 and PICU)
Visit patients at bedside and assist nurses/unit staff on a variety of tasks.