Teen Volunteers :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Teen Volunteers

Teens in our community are impressive! We have reached our application capacity in record time; so unfortunately, our teen application is now closed. Our desire is to meet the needs of the hospital departments who request volunteers and provide meaningful experiences for the teens who generously give their time. The next time we will be accepting teen applications will be summer 2016 for the school year.

If you applied for the 2015 school year program and need to access the information packet, please click here. You can also access the volunteen reference form here.

Nationwide Children’s Hospital Volunteen Program

Who: Teens must be 14 and in high school by Sept. 1.

What: Typically, teen volunteers provide service in many areas, including the information desk, gift shop, sibling Clubhouse, clinic waiting rooms, Close to Home centers, and in office settings. Most assignments will be supporting families, patients and staff.  Teens continuing in the Nationwide Children's volunteer program will have the opportunity to train on patient units.

When: Assignments will be same day/same time each week, typically 2-3 hours.

Where: Primarily at the main campus; however, there are some opportunities at the Close to Home locations.

Cost: Volunteer polo shirt is $23, plus tax. Volunteens also are required to wear khaki pants or knee-length skirt and closed-toe shoes

If I apply, am I automatically accepted?
The teen program continues to grow each year! We try as best as we can to match as many teens with volunteer positions as possible, but due to the high number of applicants, it is not be possible to find a match for everyone. Opportunities on weekends are limited.

When should I apply?
New teens are accepted into the program in the fall. Applications and information are available beginning in mid-July. Applications will be accepted until the program deadline unless the capacity is reached. Please apply early.

Application Process

We are sorry; the volunteer program is at capacity for this quarter. Please check back during the next application period.

Volunteer Assignments

Teens who are new to the program are placed in areas where they have support of a staff member.  You will receive more information at the Interview Session.  Here are descriptions of some of the areas where we need teen volunteers.  Please make sure you can see yourself fitting into a role such as this.  Days/times of assignments will vary.

Sibling Clubhouse
Clubhouse volunteers work under the direct supervision of a staff member to play with children ages 3-12 who are brothers and sisters of patients.  This area is not a day care space but rather a special support area that targets interventions to address the needs of siblings who have an ill or injured brother or sister. The Clubhouse is a very busy area and we rely on volunteers who are energetic, reliable, and who love to play with younger children!   Good attendance is extremely important.

Information Desk
Volunteers at the Information Desk assist staff members in a very busy environment.  With the opening of the new hospital, there will be Info Desks in the new Main Lobby and the Tower Lobby.  Volunteers assist with answering phones, providing directions, making deliveries, completing sibling health screenings, and processing donations.  Information Desk volunteers should have good communication skills and enjoy working with the public.

Reach Out and Read
ROR Volunteer Readers:  As a Volunteer Reader you will engage children in literacy related activities in the waiting areas of the Primary Care Centers.  Volunteer Readers provide a positive learning environment while reading books interactively with the children.  A Reach Out and Read volunteer should be outgoing and comfortable approaching children and families.  Volunteers will interact with patients from culturally diverse backgrounds.

Close to Home Centers (Dublin, East Broad, Westerville, Canal Winchester)
Most Close to Homes have volunteer assignments in Urgent Care and in Occupational Therapy/Physical Therapy.  Urgent Care volunteers support staff by interacting with children in the waiting area, escorting patients back to rooms, keeping rooms and toys clean, and assisting staff with other needed duties.  OT/PT volunteers assist staff with keeping equipment clean, making copies, and preparing for patients.  Volunteers can also spend time observing therapies, which may be beneficial for students interested in pursuing a career in OT or PT.  Please note:  assignments at the Dublin Close to Home are extremely limited.  Please do not apply if this is the only site you are able to volunteer.  Staff wants volunteers who are interested in the assignment, not just the location.

Frequently Asked Questions 

If you have additional questions, we will be happy to answer them. We encourage applicants and Volunteens to take the initiative to communicate with us!

Email: Volunteering@NationwideChildrens.org
Phone: (614) 722-3635
Fax: (614) 722-3641


All volunteers must attend a general hospital orientation and training in their area.


Our teen volunteers must be interested and enthusiastic about what they are doing. It is important to be independent and comfortable talking to children and adults. There are many rules regarding infection control, confidentiality, and interacting with children and families—it is important to pay attention to this information and follow these regulations. Hospital staff expects a teen volunteer to follow directions and demonstrate maturity and respect.


Our volunteers are given an assignment on the same day and same time each week, for example, Wednesdays 1-4 p.m. Typically, volunteers are here 2-3 hours each week. The staff relies on volunteers, so if you are going to miss more than 2 weeks in the summer, this may not be the right time to apply. For school-year applicants, we do have some flexibility for those involved in fall or spring sports or band or other activities.


Most of the available assignments are on the main hospital campus. We do have a few assignments at the Dublin, Westerville, or East Broad Close to Homes. We look for applicants who are interested in the assignment, not just the location.


Volunteers are required to purchase and wear a uniform while volunteering.  If financial hardship exists, arrangements can be made to get a uniform at no charge.  In addition to the uniform polo or vest, volunteers must wear their name badge, long pants (no jeans) or knee-length skirt, and closed-toe shoes.  Artificial nails, visible tattoos and facial piercings are not permitted. 

Were you asked to serve as a teen reference?

Please complete the reference form below. 

Access the Teen Reference Form »

Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000