COVID-19 Update:Learn more about how we are protecting our patients, families and staff, as well as other important facts about COVID-19.
Specialty Volunteer Program
The Specialty Volunteer Program is intended for individuals looking for specific, niche opportunities that may be affiliated with their profession or require a certification. If accepted into this program, volunteers will be directly supervised by the manager of the specific department they are supporting.
Volunteers with the Pet Visitation program are community members who have pet companions that hold active registration within a nationally recognized therapy animal organization. Therapy animals must be fully vaccinated, over the age of two, and comfortable around children. Duties include, but are not limited to:
- Engaging patients in unit playrooms
- Providing therapeutic bedside visits
- Participating in special events
- Providing opportunities for staff wellness
Pet Visitation volunteers must be 18 and older. Volunteer teams are required to provide a minimum of two visits per month. Priority scheduling will be given to volunteer teams who are available weekly, during a set day and time. These volunteer teams are directly supervised by the Pet Visitation program staff.
Creative and Therapeutic Arts Services (CTAS) provides artistic programming to patients, families and staff. Depending on their specific assignment, volunteers may be assisting a Creative and Therapeutic Arts staff member, assisting a volunteer musician or artist, or providing their own artistic skills. CTAS volunteers are directly supervised by a member of the CTAS staff. CTAS volunteer opportunities include:
- Only Make Believe Volunteer. Only Make Believe (OMB) creates and performs live and interactive theater for children in the hospital.
- Musicians On Call Artist. Musicians On Call (MOC) artists bring live and recorded music to the bedside of patients in health care facilities by delivering live in-room and virtual performances.
- Musicians On Call Guide. Musicians On Call (MOC) guides escort the volunteer musicians to inpatient units and remain with the artist for the duration of their volunteer shift.
- Gallery & Exhibition Volunteer. Gallery & Exhibition volunteers assist with art gallery installations in the hospital, perform gallery rounding, organize and replace gallery information and labels, assist with art receptions and special events, assist with Saturday art workshops and activities for patients and families, and assist with other programmatic or administrative duties as needed.
- Music Program Support. Music Program Support volunteers assist the Music Specialist with compiling packets for music education, assist in music education research, engage with patients during therapeutic music programming, and assist with additional programmatic and administrative duties as needed.
- Art Program Support. Art Program Support volunteers assist the art therapy team with art activities and projects, prepare and distribute art project materials to patients, and assist with additional programmatic and administrative duties as needed.
The age and time commitment requirements for CTAS volunteers vary based on assignment.
Due to COVID-19, all volunteer applications are currently closed. Please complete our volunteer interest form to be notified of future application openings. Thank you for your understanding, patience and continued support during this time.
All incoming specialty volunteers are required to complete:
- Online application
- Interview with a member of the Child Life & Integrative Care Services Team
- Online background check
- Medical clearance through Occupational Health (including COVID vaccination)
- Annual flu shot
- Online orientations and trainings
- Onsite training
Expectations and Commitment
Our volunteers represent Children's National Hospital, and we hold high expectations for our volunteers to ensure that our patients and families have the best hospital experience possible. As a specialty volunteer, you will be expected to:
- Learn and exercise hospital safety and behavior conduct guidelines
- Protect patient identity and privacy
- Dress appropriately and according to hospital guidelines
- Engage in age-appropriate play and interactions with patients
- Work with patients of all ages, backgrounds and developmental abilities
- Be a source of information about the hospital for patients and their families
- Be a source of fun and comfort for patients and their families
Please note, volunteers do not perform medical procedures of any kind or receive information regarding the medical diagnosis, treatment or prognosis of any patient. This program does not provide the opportunity to shadow physicians, nurses or other health care providers.
- This position requires standing and/or sitting.
- This position may include performing in front of patients and families.
- This position may include pushing an activity cart for at least one hour at a time.
- This position may include pushing a wheelchair with a patient that weighs up to 100 lbs.
- This position may include lifting artwork, instruments or donated items that may weigh at least 10 lbs., as well as transporting items to various areas on carts.
- Reasonable accommodations will be considered for qualified applicants with disabilities.