volunteer with patient2Frequently Asked Questions

What is the commitment?
Volunteers at Guelph General Hospital (GGH) provide quality and continuous support to patients, visitors and staff. Your volunteer shift will be on the same day, at the same time, in the same area every week. We offer a variety of commitment options, listed below, in order to provide something for everyone.

Year Round Volunteering
We offer year round, weekly placements for volunteers who are able to commit to one year of volunteering. Applications are accepted anytime of the year.

School Year volunteering
We offer school year weekly volunteer placements for university, college and high school students.

Summer Volunteering
We offer summer opportunities from May-August or July-August of one-two shifts per week.

What is the minimum age to volunteer?
You must be 15 years old to volunteer in the Courtyard Boutique and the Patient Visiting Program.
You must be 18 years old to volunteer in all of the other volunteer positions.

I am a high school student. Can I just do my 40 hours of community service?
By volunteering from Sept-June or July-Aug you will most likely accumulate hours towards the 40 hours necessary for graduation. If you are looking for an even shorter time commitment, consider contacting The People & Information Network (PIN) for a listing of short term volunteer opportunities by clicking here.

What qualities do you look for in a volunteer?

volunteer with paediatric patientWe are looking for people whose values are the same as the hospital - Teamwork, Respect, Accountability and Compassion. These values are demonstrated by the qualities listed below:

  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Excellent communication skills, including verbal and written English.
  • Self-directed, outgoing, professional, reliable, positive and punctual
  • Active listening
  • A desire to reduce the stress involved in a hospital stay for the patients and their friends and families
  • Ability to use sound judgement and remain calm under pressure

What are the immunization requirements to volunteer?
The Ontario Public Hospitals Act, mandates that everyone working or volunteering must comply with GGH’s Immunization and Surveillance Policy, which is based on Ontario Hospital Association Communicable Disease Surveillance Protocol. These steps are in place to ensure a safe and healthy environment for everyone in the hospital.

You will receive the Health Review Immunization Form after a successful interview. It can take up to 6-8 weeks to fulfill the requirements of the Health Review Immunization Form. This form can be completed by your family doctor. If you do not have a family doctor, it can be completed by a doctor at a walk in clinic. If you are a post-secondary student, it can be completed by a doctor at your school’s health center.

Click here for the detailed immunization requirements.

Volunteer Resources is not able to provide reimbursement for any of the charges that you may incur in order to complete the necessary documentation and immunization requirements.

Do I have to have a Police Check to volunteer at the hospital?
Anyone over the age of 19 must provide a current (dated within the past 6 months) Police Vulnerable Sector Check. Authorization letters for a Police Vulnerable Sector Check will be provided after a successful interview.

Do I have to wear a Uniform/ID badge?
Yes. Volunteers must purchase a scrub shirt ($20) or a vest ($25). All volunteers receive an ID badge at no charge.

Am I able to volunteer in any area I want?
We place the most suitable volunteer in each position. Our decision of where to place a volunteer is based on the availability and qualifications of the volunteer, our scheduling needs, and the skills required for each position.

Do you have volunteers in every area of the hospital?
No. There are some areas of the hospital that do not offer volunteer opportunities, such as pharmacy, food services, security, housekeeping, engineering and the supplies area.
If you have a specific volunteer area in mind that is not listed on the application package, please contact Volunteer Resources before completing the application.

How will I know if my application form has been received and is being considered?
Volunteer Resources reviews all application packages as they arrive. If you haven’t heard from us within two weeks of submitting your application package, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

How long does the application process take before I can start to volunteer?
After your interview, it is up to you how long the process takes. The sooner you start the process to get your Police Vulnerable Sector Check and start gathering your immunization information, the sooner you can start.

The average time from the interview to when a volunteer is able to start training is 6-8 weeks. A two-step TB tests takes at least two weeks for a total of 4 appointments; arranging blood work and receiving the results can take 2-3 weeks and a Police Vulnerable Sector Check can take anywhere from three weeks to as long as 120 days if fingerprinting is required.

back to top

Why does the process take so long?
In addition to ensuring that we are putting patient, staff and volunteer safety first, we also want to ensure that you are fully prepared to take on the role of your volunteer position.

I am in college/university. What happens if my schedule changes?
We ask that you let us know as soon as possible when your schedule changes. We will work with you to do the best we can to move you into a different shift in the same area. If that is not possible, we will move you into another area that will work with your schedule.

What if I am sick, on vacation or have exams? university volunteer web
All volunteer positions have schedules which provide all of the necessary contact information and steps to follow if you have to miss a shift.

What if I want to change volunteer positions or take on another position?
Contact Volunteer Resources to see what positions are currently available, the skills required for the position and the time of the position.

Can I observe Medical procedures or help with medical treatments as a volunteer?
No. Volunteers are here to provide non-medical support for staff, patients and visitors.
Volunteering in the hospital will not allow any opportunity to practice or develop clinical or technical skills. As a result, there is very limited contact with physicians or opportunities to observe medical procedures.

I am a foreign trained professional. Am I able to volunteer these skills in the hospital?
No. Volunteers are here to provide non-medical support for staff, patients and visitors and must only do the tasks listed on the approved volunteer position descriptions. Any tasks that a member of a licensed or regulated profession (ie: physician, pharmacist, nurse etc.) can legally perform, are not included in approved volunteer position descriptions.

Can I shadow a health care professional?
Please contact Organizational Development at 519-837-6440 x 2873 for more information on the shadowing process.

Will volunteering lead to employment at GGH?
Volunteer Resources offers volunteer positions. Volunteering will always enhance a resume, but volunteering at GGH does not guarantee a paid position at the hospital. You can click here for information on potential employment opportunities and requirements for paid positions.

Do you place all volunteers who apply?
We do our best to place everyone who is interviewed. The more flexible someone’s schedule is, the easier it may be to find a suitable placement for him/her. Successful completion of the application and interview process does not guarantee a volunteer placement. Final volunteer placement is at the discretion of Volunteer Resources.

Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact Volunteer Resources at 837-6440 x 2394.

back to top