Volunteer Opportunities in Healthcare

2 people holding hands in a supporting way

Please note: In compliance with Oregon law, OHSU’s COVID-19 Immunization and Education policy will go in effect Oct. 18, 2021. Visitors and volunteers who have an in-person assignment must be fully vaccinated (14 days after last dose). Exception requests from visitors and volunteers will not be accepted. Please be prepared to provide proof of vaccination, or to receive a Covid-19 vaccination, as a requirement for onboarding for your in-person assignment at OHSU. You will not be allowed to participate within OHSU if you are not compliant with this policy.

Become a volunteer

  • Can you commit to 26 shifts (6 months) of volunteering for 4 hours a week?
  • Do you meet the minimum age requirement of 14 years old?
    • Guide (must be at least 14 years old)
    • Art Cart (must be at least 16 years old)
    • Age 18+ are eligible for all positions
  • Are you able to complete all training and compliances?
    • Approximately 9 hours of online training
    • Medical clearance involving immunizations (including the Covid-19 Vaccine) and a Tuberculosis Test
    • Background check
    • Multiple trips to OHSU during business hours for orientations, trainings and badge pick-up.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers work to positively impact the pediatric, adult or geriatric patient experience by visiting and spending quality time with patients and families. Additionally, they support staff with non-medical tasks while expanding their own knowledge of the hospital setting.

  • Abdominal Transplant and Surgical Specialties
  • Bone Marrow Transplant
  • Cardiac and Progressive Care
  • Emergency Surgery
  • Family Medicine
  • General Surgery
  • General Medicine
  • Mother-Baby
  • Neurology and Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT)
  • Orthopedic and Spine
  • Outpatient Care Unit 
  • Surgical Oncology
  • Adult Hematology-Oncology and Infusion
  • Diabetes Clinic
  • Pediatric Hematology-Oncology and Infusion Clinic
  • Pediatric Surgery
  • Procedural Care Unit
  • Emergency Department*
  • Pediatric Emergency Department*

       * experience required, 12 month commitment required 

  • Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit
  • Medical Intensive Care Unit
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit
  • Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
  • Trauma and Surgical Intensive Care Unit
  • Animal Assisted Therapy
  • Art Cart
  • Family Resource Center
  • Guest House Ambassador
  • Healing Through Music
  • Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Reception
  • Lay Servers/Spiritual Care
  • Patient Engagement (Guide)
  • Pediatric Outpatient Clinic Ambassador
  • Pediatric  Surgery Ambassador
  • Photography
  • Tom Sargent Safety Center
  • Hematology-Oncology and Intermediate Care
  • Pediatric Acute Care Center
  • Audiology Clinic
  • Autism Clinic
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy Clinic
  • Early Access Assistive Clinic

OHSU’s Healthcare Volunteer Summer Program is designed to provide a meaningful volunteer experience for students, high school or college, who are only available during their summer breaks from school to volunteer. Volunteers in the summer program will gain valuable, introductory experience in a healthcare environment at Oregon’s only public academic health center. The Summer Program asks volunteers to commit to 2 weekly, regularly scheduled shifts for a minimum of 26 shifts. This will require volunteers pick up shifts in addition to their weekly scheduled shifts. Summer Program volunteers get the unique opportunity to understand healthcare from the perspective of the patient, while making a difference in their community by participating in the following programs:

  • Guide Volunteers: Guide volunteers assist in patients and families find their appointments on Marquam Hill and South Waterfront. These volunteers get to opportunity interact with patients and families directly, and will provide invaluable assistance in simplifying the complexity of OHSU Campus for everyone at OHSU. Volunteer guides much be at least 14 years old.
  • Art Cart: Art cart volunteers spend time doing crafts with children and their siblings, in the clinic waiting room of the Dorenbecher Children’s Hospital 7th floor. Volunteers are tasked with engaging with children to provide distraction while they wait for their appointments, while also adhering to infection prevention precautions to help keep everyone safe and healthy. Art Cart volunteers must be a minimum of 16 years of age and have experience with children.
  • Farmer’s Market: Farmer’s Market volunteers assist in set up and operations for the OHSU Farmer’s Market. This volunteer position is ideal for volunteers interested in public health or nutrition. This program gives volunteers the opportunity to use their customer service skills while supporting access to healthy and local food for the OHSU community. Volunteers must be 18 years old and must be available for most or all Tuesdays from June through September.
  • Healing Through Music: Healing through music volunteers provide ambient music for general areas at OHSU, including lobbies and waiting areas. Volunteers must be able to bring their own instrument to play at OHSU (with the exception of piano.) Volunteers will be auditioned to be placed in this role. Healing Through Music volunteers play for a 2-hours shift and must be at least 14 years old.

OVV is excited to host Summer Program 2023 and welcome a new cohort of volunteers to OHSU campus! Please note the following before applying to this program:

  • Because of the abbreviated length of this program, applicants who will be unavailable for more than 2 weeks during the summer will not be accepted, as this will prevent them from being able to complete the 26-shift commitment.
  • Applicants for this program will be expected to completed 26 shifts over their summer time and there is a 6-8 week onboarding lead time ahead of each volunteer’s first shift.
  • Volunteer will be expected to engage with onboarding tasks and answer communications sent by OVV while they are still in school, so they are ready to begin training their first available week of summer vacation.
  • Summer Program will onboard in 2 waves to best meet the needs of the volunteers applying.
    • The 1st wave of applications are due March 1st : OVV will begin onboarding for students whose summer begins before prior to June 1st, 2023 at this time
    • The 2nd wave of applications are due April 1st: OVV will begin onboarding for students whose summer begins before after to June 1st, 2023 at this time

Events can be a fun, creative and effective way to raise awareness of and provide valuable financial contributions to OHSU and its mission. Your group can help OHSU Hospital and Clinics or Doernbecher Children's Hospital by organizing a fundraiser or drive to collect supplies from Doernbecher’s Wish List.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, OHSU employees can volunteer. However, employees will be assigned outside of their department of employment and may be subject to a Position Description review by OVV.

We will send an invitation to our monthly New Volunteer Orientation within 2-3 weeks. You will receive more information at the orientation regarding your next steps. See an overview of the volunteer onboarding process.

Our minimum commitment for volunteers is 6 months, done in a minimum of one 4-hour shift per week. To find one-day or family-friendly volunteer options in the community visit the Portland area volunteer center.

You can also help by organizing a fundraiser or drive to collect supplies from Doernbecher’s Wish List.

We are unable to offer group volunteer opportunities at OHSU due to infection control standards, as well as the protection of our patients’ confidentiality and comfort. Your group can help OHSU Hospital and Clinics or Doernbecher Children's Hospital by organizing a fundraiser or drive to collect supplies from Doernbecher’s Wish List.

Currently, high school students and undergraduates who want to observe clinical operations and/or visit clinical areas must be a part of vetted and approved through established OHSU programs. See a list of approved programs.