Teen Volunteers :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Teen Volunteers

Nationwide Children’s Hospital Volunteen Program

Who: Teens must be 15 and in high school by September 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.

Application Process

We onboard new teen volunteers once a year.  The application will be available mid-July and will close once capacity is reached.  Teens can expect to begin volunteering at the beginning of November.

The application process includes:

  • Complete the online application in July
  • References —Electronic form submitted by those non-family members you select
  • Information and interview session- Attend with a parent in September to learn more about the overall volunteer program and specific information about available volunteer openings
  • Orientation- Attend in October for an introduction to hospital policies
  • Receive required flu vaccination and TB skin test at your personal health provider and submit records to our hospital Employee Health Department
  • Attend an assignment specific training and begin volunteering in November

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. 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 - Volunteer Readers
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 want 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 teen applicants and Volunteens to take the initiative to communicate with us!

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

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All volunteers must attend an interview session, general hospital orientation, and training in their area.



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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.

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Our volunteers are given an assignment on the same day and same time each week, for example, Wednesdays 4-6 p.m. Typically, volunteers are here 2-3 hours each week.



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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.

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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, khaki pants (no jeans) or knee-length skirt, and closed-toe shoes.  Artificial nails, visible tattoos and facial piercings are not permitted. 



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