Undergraduate Student Volunteer Program - Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to sign up through Madison House?

Yes, All UVA undergrads sign up through Madison House to volunteer at the UVA Medical Center.  Working with Madison House enables the Medical Center to offer hundreds of students the opportunity to volunteer in a world-class Medical Center. The 2012-2013 undergraduate process is closed.

How do I get started?

All students interested in applying to MedServices must visit the Madison House website. The next time UVA Undergrads can apply to volunteer is September 2012, at the start of the next academic year.

A Description of the Start Up Process

After officially signing up and securing a unit and shift time, all volunteers are required to meet the screening requirements of the UVA Medical Center.  Volunteers must:

  • Have had chicken pox or 2 doses of the chicken pox (varicella) vaccine
  • Have their immunization record reviewed by Employee Health.  Required immunizations are: 2 doses of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine; 1 TDAP (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccine.  At the Information Session volunteers will have signed a release of information so that UVA Student Health will provide immunization records to UVA Employee Health. 
  • Undergo a two-part screening for TB, which is provided free by UVA Employee Health. You will sign up for this on Sign Up Day at Madison House.
  • MANDATORY flu vaccinations are required when available in the fall.  These vaccinations will be available free of charge through UVA Employee Health.
  • Complete Safety & Service Volunteer Orientation, including HIPAA, Infection Control, Fire & Safety and more. You will sign up for a Safety & Service session on your on-line application.
  • Authorize a Criminal History background check by signing a form. This will take place while you are at Employee Health for the required TB Screening.
  • Obtain a Health System ID Badge.
  • If you sign up for the Free Clinic or Martha Jefferson Hospital, these requirements may vary.

I volunteered last year, and want to come back

The returning volunteers have already completed their training for this year.  Please check back with the Head Program Director of Madison House August 2013. 

Is there a minimum amount of time that I need to commit to?

Yes, student volunteers sign up for a weekly shift of 3 hours for the academic year - September through May, when the University is in session.  If needed, shifts can be altered in January to accommodate new academic schedules.

Do I need to volunteer every week?

Yes! Once you commit to volunteering, we count on you being here, unless you are sick or out of town.  We value our UVA student volunteers greatly.  Students are smart, energetic, and have a lot to offer to the Medical Center and our patients.  A weekly shift enables students to plan for volunteering, and to put volunteering into their calendar, as they would a class.  This provides the best experience for the volunteer, and for the hospital.Can I be placed in the volunteer program of my choice?

Yes, depending upon what shifts are available when you sign up at Madison House.

Can I volunteer if I'm not 18? 

Yes, however UVA students who are under 18 will need a parent or guardian to sign a release. If this applies to you, please let your Program Director or the UVA Volunteer Coordinator know. 

Will I be able to shadow a Doctor and or have a clinical experience?

We do not offer shadowing or clinical experiences through Volunteer Services.  As a volunteer you will be able to learn a lot about the hospital environment and the roles of different health-care professionals in caring for patients. Volunteers never give medical care.

What do I do about parking?

UVA Student volunteers do not receive parking privileges when they're here, and are asked to bus, bike or walk.

What about training?

After attending Safety & Service Orientation, position specific training comes next.  You'll receive a training manual and live training geared specifically to the job you'll be doing. You'll participate in training sessions with your Program Director and other hospital staff. You'll learn the tasks you'll be doing, and work through a Training Checklist for the specific role you are filling.

Is there a dress code?

Yes. Volunteers follow the same dress code as Medical Center employees.  Volunteers are not allowed to wear blue jeans, shorts, yoga pants, sweatpants, sweatshirts, open toe/heel shoes, or t-shirts.  No halter tops or bare midriffs. Some patient areas have additional dress code requirements.  All volunteers must wear their hospital ID badge while on duty.  If a uniform is required for your role, it will be provided to you.  Uniforms are worn over the volunteer's street clothes.

If I volunteer will I get into med school?

Volunteering at the hospital does not guarantee admission to medical school; however, medical schools do look for evidence of interest in and commitment to a health care career when screening applicants. Volunteer Services staff is happy to provide documentation of service for successful volunteers who apply to study medicine, nursing or another health career.