Reasons to Volunteer at a Hospital

nurse chris image by John Keith from

Hospital volunteers wear many hats. They help entertain sick children, visit with and talk to the elderly, greet visitors, run the gift shop and assist in meal preparation and delivery. Depending on a hospital's particular needs, they can help in most areas. There are several reasons why people volunteer at hospitals.

Learn New Things

Volunteering at a hospital offers you the chance to learn new things and broaden your horizons. At a hospital, you work with people who have different backgrounds and levels of knowledge than you. Volunteer work can lead to lifelong friendships with people you may not meet elsewhere. Depending on the tasks you perform, you may learn about medicine, patient care, customer service or food preparation.

Help People

One reason to volunteer at a hospital is to help other people. Hospitals exist to improve or maintain patients' health, so anything you do to help the hospital is, directly or indirectly, making people healthier and improving their lives. Even if you don't work with patients, you help those who do. When you work under doctors or nurses, you make their jobs easier so they can treat more patients. St. Jude's Children Hospital says its volunteers "provide crucial support services that are vital to the hospital."

Explore Medical Careers

Volunteering at a hospital lets you see the hospital from an insider's perspective. If you're considering a career in a health-related field, volunteering at a hospital offers you the chance to work with medical professionals and see what their jobs are like in the real, non-television-series world. Even if you don't plan to go to medical or nursing school, there are many other careers to discover, like dietitian, x-ray technician and physical therapist.

Build Your Resume

Any kind of volunteer work helps build your resume for job or college applications and scholarship opportunities. Volunteering at a hospital shows your dedication to the community and willingness to make a time commitment. At a hospital, you may have opportunities to shadow medical professionals and see what specific tasks they complete, which can help with medical school or university applications. The people who supervise your volunteer work can provide recommendations or letters of reference.