MultiCare Health System

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MultiCare Volunteer Services

Frequently Asked Questions about Volunteering

Is there a minimum age one must be to volunteer?
Volunteers must be at least 15 years old and in most locations must be at least 16 years old to volunteer in direct patient care areas. Other positions require volunteers to be at least 18 years of age or even 21. Please read our list of volunteer opportunities for specific age restrictions.

Is there a required commitment?
If you are applying to volunteer in a hospital or clinic, we ask that you make a 100 hour commitment to volunteer. This requires that you volunteer approximately 4 hours per week for 6 months. The amount of commitment will depend on availability of placement and the area you are interested in volunteering.

If you are only available for the summer, many locations have a summer volunteer program. The requirement is that you are available a minimum of three months and can commit to at least 100 hours of service. This requires that you volunteer at least two half-days or one full 8-hour day each week throughout the three months.

If you are hoping to volunteer more short term you might think about the event volunteer opportunities which can require as little as four hours one day or one day per month leading up to an event.

If you are over 55, you might want to consider Celebrate Seniority, which provides different scheduled volunteer activities and is connected to various programs throughout MultiCare.

Is there an application process?
Yes, our application is available here on our web site. You should receive an email within two weeks of applying letting you know if you will be scheduled for an interview or if there is no placement for you at this time. If you are provided an interview time, it is important to complete all required paperwork and communicate with your assigned coordinator if you are unable to make your appointment time. If there is no placement at the time of your application, we encourage you to look at our events.

If you are interested in any of the events, please follow the links to their page on the volunteer opportunity page.

What will happen after I apply in order for me to start volunteering?
If there is a possible placement based on your application, you will received an email from a placement coordinator. The coordinator will work with you to arrange an interview, or respond by letting you know there is no potential placement at that time.

At the interview, we will discuss training, placement and other next steps.

What do I do if I don’t hear from anyone regarding my application?
If you do not receive an email conformation of your application within 10 days from the date you submitted your application, please call either our Tacoma office, (253) 403-1005 or our Puyallup office (253) 697-1568.  Please allow a little more time around holidays to account for office closures.

What opportunities are available to me as a volunteer?
We have many interesting volunteer opportunities available! This link will provide you a look at several volunteer opportunities with MultiCare. Placement is dependant on many factors, and we will be able to discuss in depth possible placements once your application is received.  

How soon can I start?
We realize that you are eager to join our volunteer team. It can take up to a month or more to become a new volunteer. This is because we must follow a very detailed process to ensure a safe and healthy environment for you, our patients and visitors. Sometimes, it may take longer depending on your need, area of interest and other related factors.

If you need volunteer hours quickly, you can explore some of the events and other ways to volunteer on our opportunities page.

Can I volunteer for community service hours?
Yes, if it is for school or for a service program such as AmeriCorps Students in Service. If it is court appointed, we are unfortunately unable to place you.

Please be aware that you need to complete at least 100 hours of service per our volunteer requirement prior to having any school required paperwork signed off confirming your hours. This applies even if your requirement is less than 100 hours.

What opportunities are currently available?
Often availability of opportunities change from day to day, so it is often hard to know what is available as volunteers come and go. If you are interested in a particular area that has no current openings we are always happy to place you on a waiting list.

Where will I be able to volunteer?
You can volunteer in many different areas of the hospital, please read the opportunity page for specific options, but your placement will depend on the departments needs, your availability and your ability to meet the minimum requirements of the volunteer role.

Some special events utilize volunteers throughout the year as well as on the day of the event, so you will need to contact the event contact person directly for specific times and days.

Can we volunteer as a family?
The majority of our volunteer roles do not allow for group volunteers, including families. Sometimes we are able to place family members in different units within a given hospital at similar times during the day.
You may be able to assist in certain events or provide support in other ways. Some of the ideas are listed on the opportunities page.

Will I be able to observe health care professionals while I volunteer?
Of course you will work closely with health care professionals in many of the volunteer roles that we offer, but true observation is best suited to a job shadow. Job shadows require a different application process; applications can be requested here.