College Student Volunteers
College Student Volunteers

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 must attend an information session to meet with volunteer coordinators before applying to the program. Information sessions will be offered in January 2015 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: If selected into the volunteer program, we require submission of a health form, immunization record with proof of TDAP, and also require proof of an annual seasonal flu vaccine.
Confidentiality: Volunteers must abide by all patient confidentiality guidelines, customer service expectations and hospital policies.

Once a prospective volunteer has attended the mandatory information session and completed an interview with one of our volunteer coordinators, they will be invited to apply to be a college student volunteer. 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. Dates and information about our 2015 Summer Session will be available January 2015. The Summer Session application deadline is March 1, 2015. Incomplete volunteer application submissions will not be accepted.  

Returning Volunteers

If you have previously volunteered at Children's Mercy, please visit our Returning Volunteers page.

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