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Patient Care Volunteer Program

Group of volunteers

Volunteer Requirements

Volunteers must be ages 18 and older and a high school graduate.


Thank you for your interest in the Patient Care Volunteer Program. This application is currently closed. Please check back at a later date for our next round of recruitment. Please note that the application will be open online for 14 days or until we receive the maximum number of applications for each shift (Daytime, Evening and Weekend). Thank you! 


The Patient Care program can be as enriching for those who donate their time as it can be for the children. Volunteering in the hospital is an experience like no other. Patient Care Volunteers spend time with children or young adults on our inpatient units, in the Emergency Department, and in our outpatient clinics. No visit is ever the same. Volunteers may play games with patients, such as Uno, or help out with other various activities including puzzles, arts and crafts, reading, blowing bubbles, etc. Ultimately, the activities are dependent on the patient's age, abilities and interests. By participating in these activities, not only are you making their hospital stay more enjoyable, but you may also be allowing time for a caregiver to get a much needed coffee break or lunch.


Patient Care Volunteers are asked to make at least a one-year, 100-hour commitment. Volunteers generally work between two and four hours each week and typically come in around the same time each week to ensure that the hospital has coverage over the course of each day. With that said, we understand that you take vacations, have special events to attend, come down with the occasional illness, etc. For consistency on our inpatient units, we ask that you be present for the entire year of your service — if you travel regularly or leave the area for the summer or winter, please wait to apply until you know that you'll be in the Washington, D.C., region for an entire year.

Physical Demands

  • This position requires standing and/or sitting
  • This position may include pushing an activity or book 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 holding an infant/toddler for an extended period of time
  • This position may include lifting donated items that may weigh at least 10 lbs. such as toys, stuffed animals, game and books as well as transporting items to various areas on carts

Reasonable accommodations will be considered for qualified applicants with disabilities.

Additional Expectations

Our Patient Care Volunteers represent Children's National, and we hold high expectations for our volunteers to ensure that our patients and families have the best hospital experience possible. As a Patient Care Volunteer, you will be expected to:

  • Comply with all medical and background check requirements
  • Attend all required orientations, trainings, hospital tours and shadowing sessions
  • 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

Patient Care 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 program takes place at the Main Hospital on Michigan Avenue NW in Washington, D.C.

Gift Amount: