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Volunteering in the Healthcare Industry Has Many Benefits

volunteer opportunitiesHospitals throughout Philadelphia, South Jersey, and Delaware offer volunteer positions

Have you ever considered the benefits of becoming a volunteer? Even though there is no paycheck, volunteering can “pay” in many ways other than money. The first way is the inner satisfaction many volunteers feel from having given their time and energies to improve the lives of others. If you are fortunate enough to be able-bodied and healthy, it simply feels good to offer a hand to others who may not be.

But there are other rewards too. If you are unemployed, underemployed, or retired, volunteering can help give structure to your day and keep you busy. Most volunteer applications begin with an interview, which is great practice for real job interviews. Volunteering is also a great way to network with other people. You may meet fellow volunteers or staff members and be able to help one another in your career paths.

If you treat your volunteer position seriously—like a real job—the volunteer coordinator may be willing to serve as a job reference for you. What’s more, you can include the volunteer position on your resume, helping potential employers to know that you are committed to the field of healthcare and to helping others.

Where can I volunteer in the Philadelphia/South Jersey/Delaware region?

If you live in the Delaware Valley and are looking for volunteer opportunities in the field of healthcare, there are many options to explore. This region of the country is known for its wealth of hospitals, and many of the larger hospitals have organized volunteer programs. Some positions require as little as three hours per week and can be very rewarding. The list below is just a sampling of the opportunities in the area.

Philadelphia Region

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Volunteer Program
Volunteers at the Children’s Hospital help with jobs such as providing bedside needs to patients, playing with the children to help make their hospital stay better, teaching long-term patients their school subjects, cleaning toys and play areas, and serving as a greeter. Located in West Philadelphia, the hospital asks that you commit to 100 hours of volunteering, with a minimum of three hours per week.

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania/Penn Medicine Volunteer Program
The main hospital at University of Pennsylvania in West Philadelphia offers volunteer assignments in areas such as the Emergency Department, guest services, information desk, and other hospital offices. The program asks that volunteers commit to at least four hours per week, for at least six months. There are also many volunteer positions at other Penn Medicine locations throughout Philadelphia.

Jefferson University Hospital Volunteer Program
Located in center city Philadelphia, the Jefferson volunteer program has a variety of positions, including clinical, clerical, and service-based positions. Volunteers are expected to commit to approximately 100 hours of volunteering, with weekly shifts of 3-4 hours.

St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children
At St. Chris’s in North Philadelphia, volunteers can choose from a large list of departments in which to volunteer. Some of the options include asthma education, greeter, caring clowns, play therapy, story telling, tour guides, and guest services.

South Jersey/Camden County

Virtua Volunteer Program
The Virtua volunteer program offers volunteer roles including greeters, office assistants, thrift shop clerks, waiting room volunteers, patient transport, and evening snack cart server. With headquarters in Voorhees, Virtua has locations throughout the South Jersey area, as well as volunteer-from-home opportunities.

Cooper Hospital Volunteer Program
At Cooper Hospital in Camden, volunteer opportunities include welcoming new patients, patient transport, patient assistance, administering patient surveys, visitor information, playing with pediatric patients, caring for newborns in the nursery, working in the gift shop, and doing office work.

Lourdes Health System
Headquartered in Camden, NJ, the volunteer services program offers many ways to assist the healthcare teams such as: patient care areas, visitor reception, office work, waiting room host/hostess, receptionist, gift shop, dining room attendant, and patient transport. The webpage includes specific duties for each volunteer position.

Kennedy Health Volunteer Program
Kennedy Health has three hospital locations: Cherry Hill, Voorhees Township, and Somerdale. Volunteer options include office work, information desk helpers, courtesy callers, patient ambassadors, radiology companions, and fundraising auxiliary groups. Most volunteer commitments are four hours per week.

Central New Jersey/Trenton Area

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Volunteer Program
The RWJ Hospital Volunteer program trains volunteers on a number of tasks, from restocking supplies and patient transport, to greeting visitors and keeping patients comfortable. Located in New Brunswick, NJ, the hospital asks that you commit to volunteering for one year, providing 4 hours per week of your time.

St. Francis Hospital Volunteer Program
Based in Trenton, NJ, the volunteer program at St. Francis Hospital offers a variety of responsibilities for volunteers. There is an online application to get you started, or you can call the volunteer coordinator to learn more.

Capital Health Volunteer Program
Capital Health in Trenton, NJ has a volunteer program that asks that you commit to 50 hours of volunteering. You can participate in such tasks as patient transport, art program, tea cart, information desk, gift shop, and administrative duties.

Children’s Specialized Hospital Volunteer Program
Volunteers at this children’s hospital serve as patient cuddlers, patient pals, and physical therapy patient transporters. The hospital asks that you commit to providing at least 30 hours each year. Most of the volunteers serve at the locations in Mountainside, Toms River, and New Brunswick.

South Jersey/Atlantic County Area

Atlanticare Hospital Volunteer Program
With main branches in Pomona and Atlantic City, NJ, the Atlanticare Health System offers a number of volunteer opportunities including greeting visitors, serving as patient ambassadors, administrative support, assisting with patient meals, and gift shop helpers.

Shore Medical Center Volunteer Program
Volunteers at the Shore Medical Center get involved in everything from fundraising to working with patients. Located in Somers Point, NJ, the hospital has over 400 volunteers helping to make the hospital run more smoothly.

Delaware

Christiana Care Health System Volunteer Program
Located in Newark, with locations throughout Delaware including the Wilmington Hospital, the Christiana Care Health System offers a large array of volunteer possibilities, which you can view in detail on their volunteer opportunities web page. Some of the opportunities include Patient Cheer Team, Nutritional Services Team, and the Patient Services Team.

Bayhealth Medical Center Volunteer Program
At Bayhealth Medical Center in Dover, DE, there are many volunteer opportunities. You can complete the adult volunteer application online, and list the areas that interest you the most. This way the volunteer coordinator can match you with the hospital area that best matches your interests.

Nemours Children’s Health System Volunteer Program
Located in Wilmington, DE, the Nemours Children’s Health System has over 550 volunteers. The categories of volunteer work are recreational activities, family support, support staff, and patient transport. You may choose whether you would prefer to work directly with the patients or to stay behind the scenes.

While this list is by no means a comprehensive list of volunteer locations, we hope it helps you get started in pursuing volunteer opportunities near you. Remember, doing your best to treat your volunteer assignment seriously will help you to have a positive volunteer experience. Best of luck to you!

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This article was provided by the Harris School of Business in recognition of National Volunteer Month. The Harris School provides career-focused training in the fields of allied health and healthcare, with programs such as medical assistant training, dental assistant training, massage therapist training, and medical billing and coding training. For more information, visit www.harrisschool.edu or complete our online information form.

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