Additional Volunteer Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Additional Volunteer Information

We request a minimum volunteer service commitment of six months and 100 hours of service (eight weeks/32 hours for summer students).

We ask volunteers to commit to one shift of three or four hours per week (varies by role and site).

A variety of volunteer roles are offered, and each role performs important duties for our patients. Learn more about the roles and duties of our volunteers.

Learn more about our summer-only sessions for students.

Internship are not administered by Volunteer Services. However, Northwestern Medicine does offer a variety of opportunities for students.

If you have been accepted into the volunteer program following an interview, full onboarding takes approximately one month. This is dependent on your availability and urgency to complete the process. The requirements include a health screening, criminal background check (for those 18 and older) and volunteer orientation. A full list of requirements can be found on our volunteer requirements page.

While some volunteer roles may be within clinical areas, all volunteer opportunities have limited patient interaction.

Letters of recommendation are provided upon request for students who complete at least 100 hours of service. Volunteer Services will provide a printout of service hours performed at any time upon request.

Court-ordered volunteer service is not offered at this time.

Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital is currently the only location to offer volunteer baby cuddling. Prospective cuddler volunteers must complete the regular onboarding process.

Please note, cuddlers are recruited on an intermittent, as-needed basis. In addition to interviewing with the volunteer manager, they must interview with a Child Life specialist to be considered for the volunteer cuddler position. Upon acceptance, volunteers must serve consistently for six months in a pediatric role as a prerequisite to service as Pediatric NICU cuddler. Baby cuddling is not offered at any other location. View a list of other possible volunteer roles.

Yes, animal therapy volunteer opportunities are currently available at the following hospitals:

  • Central DuPage Hospital
  • Delnor Hospital
  • Kishwaukee Hospital
  • Lake Forest Hospital
  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital
  • Palos Hospital
  • Valley West Hospital
  • Woodstock Hospital

To learn more review our animal handler volunteer program information and contact the Volunteer Services office at the location of interest with any questions.

While your generous gift of time helps others feel relaxed and welcome, it also benefits you in many ways. Northwestern Medicine volunteers enjoy:

  • Sharing skills and talents with others
  • Discovering new interests
  • Meeting new people
  • Feeling valued and needed
  • Learning new skills
  • Getting an annual flu shot at no cost
  • Receiving discounts at participating retailers
  • Each year, Volunteer Services looks forward to recognizing and thanking our dedicated volunteers. Whether it is honoring a volunteer’s exemplary performance, saying happy birthday, participating in National Volunteer Week or hosting our annual recognition event.

Shadowing is outside the scope of the volunteer role.