The Volunteer Services Department at BMC is dedicated to helping BMC fulfill its mission of providing consistently excellent and accessible health services to all in need of care, regardless of status or ability to pay. Our volunteers continue to grow and support staff, patients and families.
Volunteers assist the BMC community with services that support the hospital's mission while providing an enriching experience for the volunteer.
Volunteer Services' main goal is to integrate and assimilate volunteers throughout the hospital where they have the greatest impact to BMC's patients and staff. In doing this, Volunteer Services is also devoted to providing a meaningful experience for the volunteer that aligns with the hospital's mission and the volunteer's goals and desires to give back to the community.
The ideal volunteer is able to commit to one consistent shift for longer than the 4 month minimum requirement. He/She is eager to volunteer wherever help is needed and has a pleasant demeanor throughout the process. He/She has a genuine interest in serving the BMC community and gains valuable experience from volunteering.
- Volunteers must be able to commit to one 3-hour shift per week for a minimum of 4 months. Volunteers who are able to 6 months or longer will be given priority. We do not offer any full-time volunteer positions.
- Volunteers must be at least 16 years old. Volunteers under 18 years of age must have a parent or guardian fill out a Parental Consent Form. For those volunteers still in high-school, we have limited volunteer opportunities, especially during the school year. We encourage high-school students to volunteer during the summer months.
- Volunteers must submit 2 letters of reference, preferably emailed to [email protected]. Reference letters must be emailed from the reference or be in a pdf document (we do not accept word documents from the volunteer applicant). References can be from anyone other than a relative and the letter should speak to the volunteer's character, interest, and strengths that would make him/her a suitable volunteer at BMC.
- Once accepted, Immunization Records must be sent to Volunteer Services either by mail, fax, or email.
- Once accepted, volunteers may be required to complete a CORI criminal background check.
Volunteers are placed throughout the hospital in many different areas helping in many different ways. Most volunteer shifts are between 9 am-5 pm Monday through Friday. Weekend and evening volunteer positions require that a volunteer be at least 22 years of age and have previous hospital experience. We cannot guarantee a volunteer position to all that apply however below are examples of volunteer placements.
Unfortunately, we do not offer any volunteer positions for high school students during the school year. Please check back with us in the spring to inquire about volunteering at BMC for the summer months.
Pediatric Inpatient Care Areas
- Must be at least 20 years old and have a good demeanor and previous experience
- Provide comfort to young patients by providing activities and companionship to hospitalized children of all ages
Pediatric Outpatient Areas
- Work on art projects with pediatric patients and other children in the waiting areas
- Read to children during waiting times and helping parents with reading skills
- Provide a warm, cheerful welcome to all patients entering and departing the clinic and help to research illnesses, diseases and appropriate resources for families
Adult Inpatient Care Areas
- Direct and guide families to patients and waiting rooms
- Talk and read to patients
- Visit certain areas of the hospital with an inpatient book and magazine cart
- Must be at least 22 years old and have previous hospital experience
- Directs visitors and family to the proper source for information about status of patient in the Emergency Department and Urgent Care; Provide information and support to patients and families in the waiting room
- Provide bedside activities for pediatric patients in the ED; Provide activities in pediatric waiting room to patients and siblings to help reduce stress during wait
- Assist with the inventory, picking up and stocking food and assisting patients with shopping in the food pantry
- Welcome patients and visitors, escort patient and visitors to appointments throughout the medical campus
In order to be considered for a placement, we ask that you read carefully through the three Volunteer Requirements listed below. If you are at least 16 years of age and can commit to one 3-hour shift per week for a minimum of 3 months, you must:
- Complete the Online BMC Volunteer Application
- Submit 2 letters of reference preferably emailed to [email protected]. Reference letters must be emailed from the reference or be in a pdf document (we do not accept word documents from the volunteer applicant). References can be from anyone other than a relative and the letter must speak to the volunteer's character, interest, and strengths that would make him/her a suitable volunteer at BMC
Please allow a minimum of two weeks from the time both references are received to be contacted by Volunteer Services.
We receive more applications than the available volunteer position openings, therefore, we cannot guarantee that all volunteer applicants will be placed into a volunteer position.
If you are placed in a volunteer position, you are required to submit your immunization records. Once we receive your immunizations and you have a confirmed volunteer placement we will reach out to you to schedule a 90 minute volunteer orientation.
Once you have been selected for a volunteer placement, we ask that you provide the below medical documentation. Your immunization and vaccination information may be obtained from your doctor's office, student health center, previous employee health records, immigration documents, military service documents or travel vaccination records. You may also have your health care provider complete the attached medical form.
- 2 MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccine dates or positive titer results
- 2 Varicella (Chicken Pox) vaccine dates or positive titer results or health care provider documented disease
- Tdap vaccine (not required/strongly preferred; includes protection against pertussis or whooping cough)
- Tuberculosis skin test (TST) results. Two skin tests, one within 12 weeks of starting to work and one within 12 months before that. TST results must include date given and read and the millimeter (mm) of induration. The form should be signed by the health professional reading the test with printed name, title, and contact number on his or her letterhead.
- For those with prior positive TB skin tests, documentation of the positive TB test date with size (mm) of skin reaction/induration, a copy of a normal chest X-Ray report obtained after the diagnosis of positive TB skin test, and documentation of receiving TB medication counseling.
- Other Tests for TB such as the QFT or T-Spot obtained via blood draws will be accepted or utilized on a case by case basis.
Documentation of the above requirements should be submitted to:
Boston Medical Center
Yawkey Ambulatory Care Center
850 Harrison Ave., 3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02118-2393
Are there any volunteer positions or departments where you DO NOT place volunteers?
There are various departments across the hospital where we do not place volunteers due to a variety of reasons. Some of those areas are: Medical Assistant, Pharmacy, Medical Interpretation, Phlebotomy, Research Laboratories. Volunteer Services is not responsible for the placement of paid/unpaid Internships, Shadowing or Observing.
Do you ever accept volunteers under the age of 16?
No. All volunteers must be 16 years of age or older. Unfortunately we are not able to make any exceptions.
Should I wait to apply online until I am ready to send in my letters of reference?
You do not need to wait to apply until you have your reference letters complete. We start a file for you when we receive the first documents for your application, whether it be your reference letters or application. Please keep in mind, we do wait to review volunteer applications until we have at least two letters of reference. Reference letters may be faxed, emailed, or mailed in to us.
I sent in my application and letters of reference. When should I send in my immunization records?
Because of the confidentiality of your information, we prefer to only accept immunizations from those applicants who have spoken to Volunteer Services or a BMC approved Volunteer Supervisor and been placed in a volunteer assignment.
What if I send in my immunization records before I am placed?
While we prefer to accept immunizations only after you are placed, we do accept these records. Make sure to review our Immunization Cover Letter to have all of the appropriate immunizations/vaccinations.
I don't have a TB test within the last year. What should I do?
Once you are placed in a volunteer assignment, we ask you to send in your immunization records with one negative TB test. If you are unable to get a TB test prior to volunteer orientation, we do allow volunteers to get the required TB test at our Occupational and Environmental Medicine Department.
I am currently an undergrad student and am thinking of getting a higher degree in medicine. What opportunities are available for me to volunteer?
We place volunteers on a first-come, first-serve basis. Because of this, we have an ever changing flow of open volunteer positions. We recommend that you review our broad list of volunteer opportunities that are offered at BMC, however they are not all available at any given time.
I have applied online, but have not heard from anyone after the suggested two week response. What should I do?
We generally do not reach out to applicants unless we receive two out of the three letters of reference. With this said, keep in mind that we receive many applications a week and review them on a first come first serve basis. Feel free to reach out to us, however we cannot guarantee that we are able to find a placement for all that apply.
I can only volunteer on weekends and evenings. What opportunities are available to me?
Currently the only volunteer opportunities we have during the evening and weekends are in the Emergency Department and Inpatient Units. For a volunteer to be considered for this placement, he/she must have previous hospital experience, have outstanding recommendations and be at least 20 years old. These shifts fill up fast and generally have a wait list to volunteer.
I am part of a group that would like to come in to volunteer for a day at BMC. What are the appropriate steps to apply as a group?
Unfortunately we are not equipped to have groups volunteer for a short amount of time. Due to our application process and immunization and orientation requirements, there is a lot of "behind the scene" paperwork that goes in to bringing on a volunteer which is why we require a 3 month commitment.
Main Phone: 617.414.5122
Email: [email protected]
Volunteer Services Department
Boston Medical Center
Yawkey Ambulatory Care Center
850 Harrison Ave. Basement, BW-02
Boston, MA 02118
Medical Records and Volunteer Services Temporary Relocation
Due to construction, the offices of Medical Records and Volunteer Services have temporarily relocated within the Yawkey basement. To access their offices, go to their regular location and look to the left. There, you will see a set of double doors. Go through the double doors and follow the signs to the current location.