By giving their time and help, hospital volunteers reap many benefits

While the thousands of hospital volunteers in the Garden State receive no pay, the emotional, practical, and long-term compensation they receive is invaluable.

Many of the people who run hospitals in New Jersey are not paid.

Thousands of volunteers in the Garden State perform valuable patient care, staff support and other functions so hired staff can focus on delivering quality care.

But while these volunteers receive no pay, the emotional, practical and long-term reward they receive is invaluable.

And the benefits that volunteers bring to both patients and staff are tangible. In a study led by Femida Handy, Ph.D., a professor of nonprofit studies at the University of Pennsylvania, more than 70% of participating hospital managers said the human contact volunteers have with patients improves patient satisfaction and improves patient satisfaction. reduces fear of family members.

Reasons to volunteer

There are many altruistic benefits to volunteering at the hospital. Knowing that you’re making the patient’s day — just by spending a few minutes chatting and serving ice cream — can be satisfying.

But volunteering at the hospital also offers many other benefits. Officers of Volunteering Solutions, an online volunteer opportunity exchange center, note that hospital volunteers:

  • Making friends. Volunteers work side by side and get to know each other.
  • Build a professional network. Volunteers meet caregivers who can help them later in their careers.
  • Generate immediate career opportunities† Volunteers who help out every day are eligible for an internship.
  • Acquire work skills. Volunteers can acquire a range of valuable skills — from administrative and computing to sales and patient care — that they can use in future activities. In addition, listing your volunteer work on a resume can improve your marketability to potential employers, notes job search coach/consultant Eli Amdur.
  • Improve health. Research from the government agency AmeriCorps suggests that volunteers keep their positions and live longer than people who don’t volunteer. In addition, hospitals regularly host educational programs on health and self-care issues. Volunteers have easy access to these programs.
  • Tangible rewards. Some hospitals offer other incentives in lieu of volunteer money, such as free lunches, hospital credit union memberships, or discounted fitness memberships.
  • School credit. Some high schools offer community service points to students.

What is needed?

Hospitals need help with many non-medical tasks, such as:

  • Personal patient services
  • Working in the reception
  • Guiding patients to and from activities
  • Day-care
  • Guidance of pediatric patients
  • Assisting support staff, such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists and chaplains
  • Gardening & Landscaping
  • Computer and administrative work

Anyone aged 16 or over and in good health can volunteer. If you choose to volunteer, you may need to complete a hospital orientation program, which can be conducted in person or online.

Depending on the role you will be taking on, you may need training, which the hospital provides for free. Some hospitals ask you to volunteer a certain number of hours per week.

Some hospitals may also require volunteers to provide evidence of a recent physical exam, flu shot, tuberculosis test, and immunization against COVID-19 and other illnesses.

For more information about volunteering at the hospital, visit your local hospital website or visit

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