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Volunteer Service Program Opportunities

Please be advised that our Cuddler Program, where volunteers assist with the care of our infant patients, is extremely popular and has a waiting list of 1.5 to 2 years. However, there are many other areas, spanning all aspects of patient care and hospital administration, where we would love your assistance.

If you have questions about volunteering for UC San Diego Health System, please read our FAQs.

UC San Diego Medical Center (in Hillcrest)

  • 6th Floor, 8th Floor, Cardiac Care Unit, or IMU
    Assist the nursing staff by running errands and labs, putting away supplies, assisting in transporting patients, taking charts to Medical Records, and visiting, talking to, and reading to patients
  • Administrative Support (Owen Clinic, Volunteer Services, etc.)
    Perform duties such as answering the phone, filing and running errands.
  • Bannister Family House
    Provide assistance with office work, guest services and the luncheon program for the guests of the 12-room “home away from home” for families of critical inpatients. Assist the House Manager in projects/programs to support the guests of Bannister Family House.
  • Call Pool
    Circulate to all patient care areas to run errands or help with deliveries, patient transports or administrative projects. Volunteers are on pager and must work independently.
  • Critical Care Units
    Support unit staff by running errands, transporting specimens and equipment, assisting with patient transport, cleaning and changing beds, stocking supplies, and assisting with the telephone and administrative tasks.
  • Cuddler Program (Infant Special Care Unit)
    There is a two-year waiting list for this position. Volunteers hold, rock, feed, and change babies under the close supervision of the nursing staff. Additionally, volunteers support the staff by performing tasks and running errands as needed.
  • Doula Program (Hearts & Hands)
    Doula volunteers provide one-on-one emotional support to women in childbirth. See Becoming a Volunteer Doula for more information.
  • EEG/ Epilepsy Research
    Alphabetize, file, answer phones, mail reports, help with research studies. May have some patient interaction
  • Emergency Department
    Run errands, transport equipment or patients, clean and change beds, stock supplies and assist with telephone and administrative tasks. Shifts available nearly 24/7. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and have completed high school.
  • Emergency Department – Research Associate
    Complete survey research by working with ED physicians and inputting data. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and have completed high school.
  • Family Maternity Care Center
    Run errands, assist with patient transport and administrative tasks, and interact with patients
  • Hemodialysis
    Perform errands, patient transports, administrative tasks (filing) and transport of specimens and equipment
  • Interventional Pulmonology Unit
    Office administrative assistance, errands deliveries, and patient transports
  • Labor and Delivery
    Run errands, transport specimens and equipment, assist with patient transport, clean and changing beds, stocking supplies, and telephone and administrative assistance.
  • Music Volunteers
    Volunteer musicians provide music as a therapeutic tool for patients.
  • NICU Concierge
    Volunteers are based in the NICU, welcoming family members, directing them to their baby; helping to make parents comfortable; stocking supplies; helping with the breast milk data bank.
  • Nuclear Medicine
    Escort patients to registration, labs, or restroom, return films and X-rays to file room, answer phone, file charts and records.
  • Patient “Personal Care” Program
    Community cosmetologists volunteer to provide free services such as haircuts, shampoo, nail care, and facial massage to patients. Appointments are scheduled through the Volunteer Services Office.
  • Pharmacy (Discharge/Outpatient)
    Students and others interested in pursuing a career in the pharmacy industry work with Pharm. D.s and other staff members by assisting with inventory of supplies, checking for outdated medications, and administrative assistance. Must be at least 18 years old and have completed high school.
  • Pre-op Admissions
    Assist nursing staff, stock unit, work with charts, escort patients, and greet families
  • Psychiatry Clinical Trials
    Recruit patients into study via phone screening, responsible for study packets, assist with documentation, schedule appointments, and chart review. (NO POSITIONS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE)
  • Radiology
    • Reception: Customer service at the reception desk in Main Radiology by answering question, giving directions and escorting/transporting patients. Spanish language skills are very helpful.
    • Student Program (for Mesa College Technician Program): Mesa College students pursing an education in the Radiology Technician Program are provided an opportunity to assist staff and observe technicians in the performance of their job duties.
  • Radiology Research
    Assist research coordinator with research MRI scheduling, data collection and data management. Organizing of IRB/FDA documentation for research studies, contact and confirm research subject appointments. Answer phones, handle detailed messages, filing, CD imaging downloading.
  • Rehabilitation Services
    Volunteers assist physical, occupational, and speech therapy staff by doing paperwork, cleaning equipment, changing beds, cleaning mats and running errands. Students interested in pursuing a career in therapies are provided opportunities to observe the activities of the professional therapy staff as they work with patients in the Rehabilitation Services Department or in the patient care units.
  • Respiratory Care
    Assist with the in hospital transport of supplies and equipment, preparing information data entry, and packaging of supply kits.
  • Same Day Surgery (PACU and Surgical Waiting Info Desk)
    • PACU: Assist staff in the recovery area of the operating room by doing tasks such as errands, deliveries, transports, and paperwork. Volunteers also visit with, answer questions for, and sit at the bedside of recovering surgical patients.
    • Surgical Waiting Info Desk: Volunteers greet and assist patients coming in for Same Day Surgery procedures and visitors/families waiting for surgical patients. Volunteers track whereabouts of families and locate them for consult with surgeon or other staff members. (Additionally, volunteers assist staff through running errands, patient transports, deliveries, changing beds, and doing paperwork projects.)
  • Senior Behavioral Medicine
    Volunteers set up and assist with activities, games, and crafts. Volunteers interact with patients one-on-one by playing games and crafts, engaging them in conversation and reading to them. Additionally, volunteers assist the staff by assembling packets, retrieving references, assisting with mail distribution, and other clerical duties.
  • Spiritual Care
    Provide spiritual and emotional support to patients, family members, and friends, with respect for their beliefs, culture, traditions, and value system. Participate in patient rounds. Console, comfort, and provide strength to patients faced with serious illness and/or difficult decisions.
  • Tender Loving Canine Program
    Program permits dogs that have been licensed to conduct visitations to designated patient care areas after being screened by a California licensed dog trainer. Dogs must be bathed and brushed prior to each visitation along with trimmed nails and cleaned ears. Dog must be on leash at all times and handler must have exceptional interpersonal skills, and must be capable of dealing with people of varying ages and degrees of illness.

Thornton Hospital, La Jolla

  • Critical Care Units (ICU or IMU)
    Support unit staff by running errands, transporting specimens and equipment, assisting with patient transport, cleaning and changing beds, stocking supplies, and assisting with the telephone and administrative tasks. This is an intense, fast-paced environment.
  • EEG/ Epilepsy Research
    Alphabetizing, filing, answering phones, mailing reports, help with Epilepsy Research Study; some patient interaction.
  • Emergency Department
    Support to department staff by performing tasks such as errands, transporting equipment, patient transport assistance, cleaning and changing beds, stocking supplies, and telephone and administrative assistance. Must be 18 years of age and completed high school.
  • Music Volunteers
    Volunteer musicians provide music as a therapeutic tool for patients.
  • Pharmacy (Outpatient)
    Students and others interested in pursuing a career in the pharmacy industry assist Pharm.D.s and other staff members by doing inventory of supplies, checking for outdated medications, and administrative assistance. Must be 18 years of age and completed high school.
  • Radiology
    • Reception: Customer service at the reception desk in Main Radiology by answering question, giving directions and escorting/transporting patients. Spanish language skills are very helpful.
    • Student Program (for Mesa College Technician Program): Mesa College students pursing an education in the Radiology Technician Program are provided an opportunity to assist staff and observe technicians in the performance of their job duties.
  • Rehabilitation Services
    Assist physical, occupational, and speech therapy staff by doing paperwork, cleaning equipment, changing beds, cleaning mats and running errands. Students interested in pursuing a career in therapies are provided opportunities to observe the activities of the professional therapy staff as they work with patients in the Rehabilitation Services Department or in the patient care units.
  • Respiratory Care
    Assist with the in hospital transport of supplies and equipment, preparing information data entry, and packaging of supply kits.
  • Same Day Surgery (PACU and Surgical Waiting Info Desk)
    • PACU: Assist staff in the recovery area of the operating room by doing tasks such as errands, deliveries, transports, and paperwork. Volunteers also visit with, answer questions for, and sit at the bedside of recovering surgical patients.
    • Surgical Waiting Info Desk: Greet and assist patients coming in for Same Day Surgery procedures and visitors/families waiting for surgical patients. Volunteers track whereabouts of families and locate them for consult with surgeon or other staff members. (Additionally, volunteers assist staff through running errands, patient transports, deliveries, changing beds, and doing paperwork projects.)
  • Spiritual Care
    Provide spiritual and emotional support to patients, family members, and friends, with respect for their beliefs, culture, traditions, and value system. Participate in patient rounds. Console, comfort, and provide strengthe to patients faced with serious illness and/or difficult decisions.
  • Tender Loving Canine Program
    Program permits dogs that have been licensed to conduct visitations to designated patient care areas after being screened by a California licensed dog trainer. Dogs must be bathed and brushed prior to each visitation along with trimmed nails and cleaned ears. Dog must be on leash at all times and handler must have exceptional interpersonal skills, and must be capable of dealing with people of varying ages and degrees of illness.

Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center, La Jolla

  • CV ICU
    Answer phones, review charts, stock supplies, run labs, visit with patients.
  • Procedural Treatment Unit
    Assist at reception desk, escort families and patients, assist with wheelchair discharge, general errand running in the unit, answer phones.

Moores Cancer Center, La Jolla

  • Administrative Help
    Assist with various administrative tasks such as filing, preparing mailings, copying, etc.
  • Infusion Center
    Offer support to patients and their families in treatment. This may involve listening, conversation, reading; getting food or drink, etc. Wonderful opportunity for one-on-one patient interaction.
  • Light One Little Candle
    This national non-profit foundation helps parents and caregivers with cancer bond with their children through reading. Volunteers wheel a book cart with new children’s books throughout the cancer center, letting patients with children know about the program and offering free books. This is a volunteer-run program and volunteers help in the maintenance of Light One Little Candle (seeking book donations and sending thank you letters, keeping basic inventory, etc.)
  • Navigator
    Greet and direct patients and visitors around the cancer center, including tours.
  • Patient and Family Education Center
    Offer listening and support, assist visitors with cancer-related educational materials and resource information, give special comfort items and wigs.
  • Research
    Assist various departments in tasks from outreach and prevention to literature searches for patients. See Moores Cancer Center Community Outreach Volunteers for more information or to sign up.

Shiley Eye Clinic, La Jolla

  • Glaucoma
    Collaborate with clinicians, vision scientists, staff research associates on clinical research of glaucoma. Perform tasks related to data collection, data analysis and database entry in accordance with established protocols. Evaluate data in multiple databases to assess quality control and perform corrections. And clerical tasks. (NO POSITIONS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE)
  • Surgery
    Assist patients with changing clothes before and after surgery. Obtain coffee and juice for post-op patients and families. Escort patients to their automobiles and clerical tasks.