[MUSIC PLAYING] The volunteer program allows us to recruit teams of individuals who can work with our volunteer staff to support the hospital, support our nursing team, support our physicians, support our administrative teams in taking care of our patients and enabling our community to have better experiences when they're here at the hospital. And also to enable our community, as we're out in the community, helping them to improve the health and outcomes of their lives.

Well, our volunteers perform an incredible service here to our patients and families each and every day. Throughout the medical program, through Child Life Comer Children's Hospital TLC program, our emergency department, our volunteers are here to serve patients and families each and every day in meaningful ways.

I am a Child Life volunteer at UChicago, so I interact with these kids in the hospital the same as I'd interact with any other kid, just treating them as normal and typical and trying not to make anything different about them being in the hospital and just playing with kids, like I would anywhere else, and trying to make their day just a little bit of what they're used to and something comforting and familiar to them.

In the TLC volunteers, volunteers like me go to visit patients, and we provide them with comfort and also offer items like magazines or puzzles, adult coloring pages in order to keep them occupied. I play the piano, and I really like it, and I like to share music with people. It'd be a perfect way to give back.

The way she plays, say especially for a patient in my shoes, it transports you to a very imaginary place. You're able to be somewhere where you know in reality you're not at that point. So it's beautiful. It sparkles.

Your help enables us to take better care of our patients, to help our community, and to help our team to be better providers of care. Thank you very much.

Thank you to our UChicago Medicine volunteers. You light up our community.


Important updates:

  • The University of Chicago Medicine prioritizes the health and safety of our patients, staff, volunteers, and community. With safety in mind, we have resumed volunteer programming in a limited capacity across the medical center. UChicago Medicine volunteers are required to adhere to COVID-19 protocols, including the COVID-19 vaccination and masking in patient-care areas
  • The Fall 2023 Application will close on October 31st, 2023. It can take up to 45 business days for your application to be reviewed as we are experiencing a high level of interest. We appreciate your patience and thank you for your interest in volunteering with us!
  • The next volunteer application cycle will open on February 2024.

Thank you for your interest in volunteering at the University of Chicago Medicine. We value our ability to offer health and wellness services in our South Side and south suburban communities. In return, our neighbors help us by donating their time.

Our team of volunteers is vital to our mission, which is to provide superior health care in a compassionate manner, ever mindful of each patient’s dignity and individuality.

Our staff appreciates the support of our responsible and well-trained volunteers who contribute their time to make a difference in our patients’ lives. In countless ways, our volunteers help patients and their families feel better during difficult times.

Benefits of Volunteering

  • Personal fulfillment
  • Free skills training in volunteer work area
  • Free health screenings, flu shot and parking in the visitors' garage
  • Making new friends with service-oriented people
  • Enhanced knowledge of healthcare system, hospital programs and services
  • Annual volunteer banquet in recognition of your service at UChicago Medicine

Volunteer Opportunities in Hyde Park

Learn about volunteer programs on our main campus at UChicago Medicine and UChicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital.

Volunteers provide comfort and support to patients and their families visiting the Adult Emergency Department. They round in the waiting room and patient care areas and offer a calming presence, company, and comfort items. Additionally, volunteers help support the emergency department staff by taking the initiative to turnover patient rooms, restock supplies, and more. These duties do not include direct medical contact with patients.

Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age or older. They must be self-directed and able to adjust to a dynamic environment by finding ways to contribute on both slow and fast-paced days. Scheduling is flexible, but must commit to at least four hours per week.   

Located in the Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine, volunteers in our Comprehensive Cancer Center make a difference in our patients’ lives.

Volunteers provide a healing and supportive environment to our patients and families in our hematology/oncology and infusion therapy clinics. They offer light refreshments, assist with directions, and most importantly, a listening ear. Additionally, volunteers assist with administrative tasks and restocking the food pantry on the unit.

Volunteers must be able to come in during weekdays between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. and commit to at least four hours per week.

Volunteers are trained to hold infants in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to provide comfort and aid in their development. In addition to holding, volunteers are trained to read aloud to infants.

To be considered for this program, volunteers must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Complete 40 hours of service in our children’s playroom
  • Receive recommendation from the Child Life and Volunteer Services staff

This program is highly prized and applicants must complete the prerequisites before advancing to the program. Waitlisting may apply.

Volunteer wayfinders provide a welcoming environment for patients and families in various locations on our medical campus. In high foot traffic areas, volunteer wayfinders provide stellar customer service as they guide patients and families to their destination while answering questions they may have along the way.

Wayfinder locations include the DCAM adult outpatient center and Comer Children’s Hospital’s main lobby.

This program is looking for engaging, self-directed, and friendly volunteers with great communication skills and a desire to work with a diverse community of patients, families, and staff.

Volunteer shifts are available Monday through Friday. Most needed times are between 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. There is a minimum of 2 hours per shift.

Under the direct supervision of the department manager, volunteers provide administrative support in various hospital departments. Their assistance makes an invaluable contribution to daily operations. Tasks can include data entry, filing, office organization, mailings, helping with informational patient materials, answering phones and providing excellent customer service to guests and staff.

Opportunities may be limited to weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Volunteering in the Comer Children's Emergency Department (ED) allows you to gain experience working with children of all ages. Volunteers in the ED provide activities (toys, coloring sheets, etc.) to patients and their families in the waiting room and the exam rooms. Ongoing responsibilities include cleaning toys, making copies of coloring sheets and doing bedside visits with patients in the exam rooms.

Scheduling is flexible but still requires a recurring weekly shift of three to four hours per week.

To be considered in this program, volunteers must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older 
  • Complete 40 hours of service in our children’s playroom
  • Receive recommendation from the Child Life and Volunteer Services staff

Volunteers provide various activities, promoting a more child and family-friendly experience during potentially long wait periods at Comer Children's. By facilitating quick crafts or helpful programming, volunteers help ease the hospital visit experience for children and caregivers.

In addition, this position will pilot training volunteers as MyChart experts to help families enroll in the MyChart health portal. By having trained volunteers as experts in the app, we will minimize simple barriers and help increase access to care for families. *Basic technology skills (using an iPad) are needed.

The outpatient waiting areas require a volunteer to be available during the weekdays, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Scheduling is flexible but requires a recurring commitment of three to four hours per week.

Our current scheduling needs are Monday, Wednesday and Thursdays.

Volunteer guides enhance the patient experience by welcoming and escorting patients to their lab appointment while providing an extra level of engagement, simultaneously improving the clinic’s patient flow.

This program is looking for enthusiastic, organized, and engaging volunteers who can work in a fast-paced and dynamic environment.

Volunteer shifts are available Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. There is a minimum of 2 hours per shift.

Volunteers are paired with a child patient in our Child Life playroom. The playroom provides development activities that a child would normally do outside of the hospital setting. Activities include reading, arts and crafts, and playing games. Playful activities offer our pediatric patients a safe and fun escape from illness, tests and treatments. When a patient is unable to leave their hospital room, volunteers are trained to deliver and play activities at the bedside.

This program requires a volunteer to be engaging, interactive, friendly, and good with children of all ages.

Volunteers must be able to serve one of the following set shift times and serve the entirety of the shift each week.

Playroom shifts are: 


Monday through Thursday

9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

1 to 4:30 p.m.

4:30 to 8:30 p.m.



9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

1 to 5:30 p.m.


Saturday and Sunday (Waitlist may apply.)

1 to 4:30 p.m.

Located in the Center for Care and Discovery’s Sky Lobby, surgery waiting room volunteers provide a welcoming and healing environment for families as they wait for news about their patient’s surgery. Volunteers escort and reunite the families with the patient once the patient is out of surgery.  Additionally, volunteers assist in light administrative tasks to help with the operational flow of the department.

Volunteers must be able to volunteer for at least four hours per week during weekdays between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

At the Center for Care and Discovery and Mitchell Hospital, volunteers provide a helping hand to our patients, families and staff.

Volunteers round on our adult inpatient units, checking in with each patient to provide more comfort during their stay. Whether offering reading materials, comfort items, a listening ear, or support, visits from volunteers encourage healing and ease to our patients and families. Additionally, volunteers assist with requests from patients, families and staff.

In addition to this volunteer role, we are looking for volunteers that have an interest in art or playing music for our patients.

Volunteers must have strong interpersonal skills and can work independently. They must commit to at least four hours a week and set up a weekly recurring shift. The most need is during weekdays between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sixteen (16) is the minimum age to volunteer. We are legally unable to accept applicants younger than 16 years of age. Some select programs require volunteers to be at least 18 years of age.

Hospital volunteers are required to serve a minimum of six (6) consecutive months and complete 100 hours of service within a year. Most of our volunteer programs require a weekly shift of 3-4 hours.

Applicants accepted into our volunteer programs must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 16 years of age, 18 years of age for select programs
  • Complete 100 hours and commit to six months of service
  • Pass a mandatory health and drug screening completedthrough UChicago Medicine
  • Complete and pass criminal background check
  • Provide immunization history or be willing to receive missing immunizations including an annual influenza vaccine
  • Receive general volunteer training and attend program specific volunteer training
  • Volunteer opportunities are not available to B-1, B-2, H1-B, or H-4 visa holders

This opportunity is not available for B-1, B-2, H1-B, and H-4 visa holders. Applicants with permanent resident cards must provide a copy of their card to our office during the time of the interview.

Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate group volunteering or short-term volunteer opportunities. If you are interested in hosting a special event for children or making a donation, please contact the Child Life Department at 773-702-0407.

UChicago Medicine is a multi-site institution. There are three primary medical facilities that have hospital volunteer opportunities at this time:

  • UChicago Medicine and Comer Children's in Hyde Park (main campus)
  • UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial in Harvey
  • and UChicago Medicine Center for Advanced Care in Orland Park

Each location has different volunteer programs available that best suit the needs of the patients and families for that facility. Please be sure to read the volunteer programs offered at each facility and apply accordingly.

We do offer a summer-only program. The minimum requirements remain the same however volunteers must serve their 100 volunteer hours in 12 weeks. The open application begins in early March. The deadline to apply is mid-May. Those that do not apply by the application deadline are not eligible to begin the upcoming summer program.

UChicago Medicine does offer these types of opportunities, but they are not coordinated through the Volunteer Services office. If you are interested in an internship or to shadow a doctor, please contact the department you are interested in interning/shadowing directly. Opportunities are select and custom to each department. There are formal requirements and the approval and onboarding process can take up to six weeks.

All applicants must submit a volunteer application, be invited and attend an in-person interview, and complete the onboarding process (health/drug screening, background check, and training). Volunteers typically complete this in two to five weeks from the time accepted. There is no cost to volunteer at UChicago Medicine.

Volunteer Opportunities in the South and Southwest Suburbs

Learn about UChicago Medicine volunteer programs in Harvey and Orland Park.

Ingalls Memorial offers unique opportunities to help patients and their families on our Harvey campus.

Learn how you can apply to serve as a volunteer at Ingalls Memorial.

Patient Experience Support

A high profile position that enhances our patient experience, volunteers are responsible for providing a warm and welcoming atmosphere for patients and visitors as they visit UChicago Medicine - Orland Park. Volunteers are stationed in our lobby and clinic areas, ready with a smile to address questions and take visitors to their destination.


You must be able to volunteer for at least four hours Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or Saturday between 8 a.m. and 12 noon.

How to Apply

Complete a volunteer application for our Orland Park location

Note: Volunteers do not take the place of salaried staff. Volunteer service is not intended in any way to lead to paid employment.