College Student volunteers make a difference for our patients, families, visitors, and staff everyday. Volunteers deliver packages and mail to our patients, greet visitors and help them navigate the hospital, bring comfort and distraction to patients and their siblings through play, and enhance the overall hospital experience for all of our guests. Please note that our volunteers provide services that are strictly comforting in nature and volunteers are not able to shadow nurses, doctors and clinicians, or to take vital signs and observe procedure
College Student Volunteer Requirements
• Age: College Student Volunteer applicants must be at least 18 years of age and enrolled in college.
• Time Commitment: We ask college student volunteers to commit to a minimum of 30 hours for the summer session and 85 hours for the school session. Volunteer shifts are a weekly three-hour commitment to a specific role. Our program does not provide flex scheduling.
• Information Session: To ensure Children's Mercy is a good fit for you and to determine which volunteer opportunity is best suited for you, college students will be registered for an information session and meet with volunteer coordinators once they have submitted a completed health form. Information sessions will be offered in January and the first part of February for the 2015 summer session.
• Background Check: We require completion of a criminal background check. Children's Mercy also completes the background checks every two years
• Health Clearances: Volunteers must maintain a current immunization record with proof of TDAP, and are also required to have proof of an annual seasonal flu vaccine.
• Confidentiality: Volunteers must abide by all patient confidentiality guidelines, customer service expectations and hospital policies.
Step 1. of the Application Process: All students must complete and return a health form prior to being scheduled for an information session. A physician must complete and sign the Physician Documentation Section of the health form. Health forms can be sent by email email@example.com or mailed (to volunteer services department, attn: Cindy Roberts 2401 Gillham Road Kansas City, Missouri 64108). Volunteer opportunities fill up quickly for the summer session so please submit these to our office quickly to secure a spot in our information sessions that occur in January and February and are limited in space.
Once accepted into the volunteer program, the new volunteer must attend New Volunteer Orientation (approximately two hours long) and complete an online training course. Finally, new volunteers must purchase and wear a special vest, designating them Children’s Mercy Volunteers, and making volunteers highly visible and easy to identify by Children’s Mercy staff, patients and their families.
College Student Volunteer Roles at Children's Mercy
All volunteer assignments are classified as inpatient care support, outpatient care support, or guest and hospitality services. Here are some examples of the types of roles a volunteer can have in each of these three areas:
Inpatient volunteer roles
- Play Program volunteers - provide opportunities in playrooms and at the bedside for children to express themselves through activities and play.
- Intensive Care Nursery volunteers - provide great first impressions in a family-centered environment for families receiving services in the Intensive Care Nursery. The volunteer in this role provides support to staff by providing resources to families and their guests.
- Evening Program volunteers - assist the Evening Program coordinator in providing specialized activities for patients. Play opportunities support growth and development to children in the hospital and promote a positive hospital experience.
Outpatient volunteer roles
- Waiting Room volunteers - provide play and art activities in the waiting areas of our outpatient care clinics.
- Reach Out and Read volunteers - provide reading opportunities to patients in an outpatient care setting.
- Art Cart volunteers - provide creative art activities to patients during their wait time in our outpatient clinics.
Hospitality and Guest Services volunteer roles
- Gift and Snack Shop volunteers - provide excellent customer service and assistance to visitors of the Gift and Snack Shops.
- Pathfinder and Information Desk volunteers - greet and escort patients, families, visitors and employees to their destinations.
- Cookie Cart volunteers - provide an extraordinary experience and first impression to all patients, families and visitors in the outpatient clinics by providing snacks to visitors.
Become a Volunteer
Our 2014-2015 school session (Aug. 24, 2014 – May 17, 2015) is full. We are now accepting health forms from students to be placed in an information session for the summer session. Please complete these promptly as information sessions end in February. All students must attend one of these to be considered for the summer program that runs from June 1st till August 9th.
If you have previously volunteered at Children's Mercy, please visit our Returning Volunteers page.