Description: There are over 180 departments and programs at the New York Weill Cornell Medical Center that utilize the services of volunteers. The following list will give you a brief overview of the areas as well as demonstrate the diversity of volunteer opportunities available.
Some assignments will involve direct patient/client contact, while others focus on more clerical program support. Availability of assignments will vary depending upon the needs of a particular department or program at any given time.
Volunteer Opportunities: Admitting: Good interpersonal skills needed for this busy location. Assist patients with multiple aspects of registration. General administrative duties include: reception, answering phones, filing, faxing and duplications.
Adult Recreation: Help improve frail elderly patient’s quality of life through conversation, arts and crafts activities, games and assisting with minor grooming.
Ambulatory Care Clinics: Volunteers act as a liaison between patients/families and staff. Assist patients and families in waiting rooms with registration, pre-operative tasks and escorting Clerical responsibilities may include answering phones, computer/date entry and filing. Good interpersonal skills required.
Child Literacy Program: Read developmentally age appropriate books to children in a one on one or group setting. Educate their parents/caregivers about the importance of reading to children. Must be at least 16 years old.
Child Life: Help ease the fright of children facing hospital stays by offering support and guidance to them and their families. Assist Child Life staff in one of the many therapeutic playrooms in the hospital. Work with children and adolescents on activities such as arts and crafts, writing, reading, helping with schoolwork and playing games. A background in art and education is helpful.
Information Desk: Volunteers act as a central directory for all hospital departments/service areas. Answer all patient/visitor inquiries regarding both in-patient and out patient services. Answer phones and call departments as needed. Must have excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Training provided.
Interpreter Program: Join the language bank and/or serve as an interpreter throughout the hospital. Bilingual volunteers provide medical interpretation services for limited English speaking patients and their health care provider. All languages are needed especially Russian, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Spanish. Intensive training is provided.
Look Good/Feel Better: The Look Good/Feel Better Program is a national public service program to help women undergoing cancer treatment learn to cope with the appearance-related side effects of treatment and regain a sense of self-confidence and control over their lives. During sessions volunteer cosmetologists (must be certified professionals) teach women how to enhance their appearance using make-up and hair replacement techniques.
Nursing Unit Aides: Duties may include assisting unit clerks with greeting visitors, answering patient call lights, transporting patients via wheelchair, feeding and ambulating patients, providing diversional activities, and general administrative/clerical assistance. The following is a brief listing of in-patient units that utilize volunteers: burn center, cardiology, dialysis, maternity, medical/surgery, oncology, pediatrics and psychiatry.
Pastoral Care: General chaplaincy volunteers are people with good listening skills who are warm, caring, and concerned. Volunteers visit patients throughout the hospital and assess the need for a chaplain.
Patient Visiting: Volunteers report to several in-patient units each shift and visit patients as needed/requested. Volunteers provide general support and comfort and serve as empathic listeners and hand holders. May assist patients with basic needs such as ordering meals, phone, television service, and requesting books from the patient library.
Rape Crisis Program: The Rape Crisis Program is designed to assist rape victims in the Emergency Room. Volunteers provide rape crisis counseling and information services to the patient. An eight-week training program is provided. Must be at least 18 years of age.
Silver Spoons: Silver Spoons is a program designed to enhance the nutritional intake of patients. Due to the nature of their illness, many patients are unable to adequately feed themselves. Volunteers help by feeding and providing emotional support to patients on various nursing units. Training provided.
Social Work: Volunteers provide in person and phone counseling to patients regarding all city, state and federal benefit entitlement programs. Provide resource information and make referrals to appropriate agencies. Training provided.
Surgical Waiting Room: Volunteers act as liaison between staff and family members in the wait area outside the operating rooms. Keep families informed of patient status and be able to relay information in a professional and compassionate manner.
Teenage Pregnancy: Program volunteers serve as mentors to pregnant teens throughout the course of their pregnancy. Volunteers have consistent phone contact with the teen as well as in-person visits at least twice each month. Provide guidance and psychosocial support as needed. Attendance required at group and individual supervision. Must be at least 21 years of age.