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Frequently asked questions about volunteering at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin

If I fill out the online application, does that mean I’ve been accepted into the program?

We review every application and notify those who are a good fit and match our current needs.

How long does the application and review process take?

The entire application and review process can take six-10 weeks. We believe that our patients and families deserve the best. Our volunteers are rigorously vetted in order to provide quality volunteer support.

What if I am only looking to rock/cuddle/snuggle babies?

Our patient placements are divided by diagnosis. With respect to the fragile nature of most hospitalized infants, there are limited opportunities for volunteers to hold/rock babies.

Do you schedule group volunteer opportunities?

The patient care environment is best served one-to-one volunteer experiences.

I need to fulfill community service hours for my school/college/work? Can I volunteer on a short time basis?

We do not offer community service-based volunteering at Children's Hospital.

I have been ordered by the courts to perform community service; can I do that at Children's Hospital?

Court-mandated placements are not accepted.

Can I just come in for one day during the holidays?

We do not offer one-time visits due to infection control and safety provisions.

Can I bring my dog with me when I volunteer?

Therapy Dog handlers have additional requirements to become a volunteer placement, including certification by Pet Partners or Therapy Dog International (TDI). In addition to the complete volunteer orientation, interview with the Volunteer Services team and shadow visits with staff prior to volunteering as a team.

When is your greatest need for volunteers?

Our greatest need is daytime hours, Monday through Friday.

Please note: if you are applying to volunteer and are only available on weekends and evenings, this may delay the application process.

What are the age requirements for volunteers?

Currently, we are only accepting applications for those who are18+ years of age.

What roles do volunteers perform at the hospital?

Can I bring my child with me?

Children may not accompany a volunteer at any time. The process to become a volunteer is to ensure the safety of our patients and families.

Can I volunteer more than once a week?

Absolutely! All volunteers begin with one placement. After three months of volunteering, our team can work with you to identify additional volunteer opportunities.

How quickly will I hear from Volunteer Services upon submitting an online application?

A member of our team will be in touch within five to seven business days of submitting an online application.

Are certain medical tests required before I can volunteer?

The Wisconsin Department of Health and Human Services requires all hospital volunteers who may have patient contact to provide proof of measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella immunity or vaccination. Volunteers must also complete a two-step TB test and agree to an annual flu shot.

Where do I get a TB test?

TB tests and readings on campus are offered at no cost to the volunteer. Tests are performed at the time of volunteer orientation and interview. Specific information will be provided if accepted into our volunteer program.

How do I get my MMR and varicella records?

Individuals under the age of 50 should have access to their medical records via their medical provider, school or can locate immunization history on the Wisconsin Immunization Registry (WIR).

For individuals over the age of 50 that are unable to provide medical records, our department will arrange to have volunteer applicants receive a titer* blood draw at no charge for MMR and/or varicella.

* Titers are blood samples taken to verify that a vaccine is present and working in an individual’s body. If the results of an MMR and/or varicella titer state presumed immunity, this will serve as official medical documentation. Additional vaccinations, should they be needed, are the responsibility of the volunteer.

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