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Volunteers at UC San Diego Health Make a Difference

UC San Diego Health encourages you to become a volunteer. Our volunteers play an integral role in assisting our staff in their activities of patient care, education and research. 

At the same time, many of our volunteers say their experiences at UC San Diego Health have been highly rewarding and personally fulfilling, and sometimes, life-changing.

Apply to Volunteer at UC San Diego Health 

If you are considering applying to be a UC San Diego Health volunteer, ​you will need to:

  • Be at least age 16 and older
  • Be available to start immediately
  • Commit to a minimum of 100 hours of service over a six- to seven-month period

Experience is not required; just bring your enthusiasm.

Apply Now

Volunteering FAQs

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What opportunities are available for volunteers?

Volunteers support medical personnel and other staff to help make our patients' stay more comfortable. This may include helping staff with patients, transporting and escorting patients in wheelchairs, and running errands to the pharmacy, labs and other areas. Other roles include administrative support, greeting patients and families, providing emotional or spiritual support to patients and families, cuddling newborns and more.

Are there any applicants you are not able to accept?

We are not able to accept court-ordered service applications.

How are volunteers selected?

Applications are screened individually. Volunteers are not selected on a first-come, first-served basis. Specifically, we would like to know which areas of UC San Diego Health interested you, what your motivation for volunteering is and what qualities you have that you think will enhance our program.

Are there any medical requirements for volunteering?

Yes, there are several medical requirements.

  • You will be required to provide proof of immunity to measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (chicken pox). This can be done by submitting proof of two immunizations for each of these diseases or a blood titer report from a lab that shows immunity.
  • Clearance for tuberculosis (TB) is also required, but if you are accepted into the program, UC San Diego Health will provide that screening.
  • You must submit proof of getting the COVID-19 vaccine (full series) and booster shot unless you have received an approved exemption from UC San Diego Health. You're considered fully vaccinated two weeks after completing a two-dose Moderna or Pfizer series or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine. If you’re not yet eligible for the booster due to the timing of the original vaccine (s), you must get a booster shot within 30 days of eligibility for our volunteer program.

Where are volunteers placed?

Volunteers may be placed at our hospitals in La Jolla or Hillcrest, or at one of clinics in San Diego County.

Can I shadow physicians and other care providers as a volunteer?

Shadowing is not part of the Volunteer Services Program.

May I volunteer if I am not a U.S. citizen?

Certain visa classifications may not be eligible for participation in the volunteer program because of government restrictions. Contact Volunteer Services at volsvcs@health.ucsd.edu for more information.

Is volunteering a good inroad to getting a job with UC San Diego Health?

There is no link between Human Resources and Volunteer Services, so if you are interested in jobs at UC San Diego Health, check the employment website.

Donations to Help Patients at UC San Diego Health

Many service groups, youth groups, churches and individuals in the community have requested ways to assist our patients from home. We appreciate this thoughtfulness and graciously accept donations of the following:

  • Blank journals or magazines published in the last six months
  • Coloring books, crayons and colored markers for children or adults
  • Hats (knitted or crocheted) for newborns
  • Blankets for newborns and adults
  • Playing cards
  • Phone chargers
  • Reading glasses (new)
  • Other items on Amazon wish list

Please call 619-543-6370 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a donation drop-off. For other giving opportunities, see: Giving to UC San Diego Health.



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