Thank you for your interest in volunteering with UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco! Volunteers come to UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco for many reasons but most come to help others and contribute to the community. In addition, volunteers can learn about the medical profession and be a part of a team dedicated to providing the highest quality health care.


Due to the high level of interest from our community, we are no longer accepting applications at this time. Please check our website on Monday, Dec. 8, for updates on Information Sessions and orientation.

February 1, 2015 will bring exciting changes to UCSF with the opening of our new Mission Bay campus, which will include:

  • UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco (183 beds): Urgent care, emergency department and pediatric primary and specialty outpatient care
  • UCSF Betty Irene Moore Women’s Hospital (36 beds): Cancer care, specialty surgery, a 36-bed birth center and select women's ambulatory services
  • UCSF Bakar Cancer Hospital (70 beds): Inpatient and outpatient cancer services, surgery for broad range of cancer specialties utilizing sophisticated technology, such as robotic surgery and intra-operative radiation therapy
  • Gateway Medical Building: Outpatient services for children, women and cancer patients


All volunteer assignments have a minimum commitment of six consecutive months. Volunteers must serve at least three to four hours a day on the same day each week. The only exception is the eight-week Summer Student Volunteer Program for high school students.

Age Requirement

Most volunteer assignments have a minimum age requirement of 16. Volunteers must be 18 years of age to work in Child Life Services, Cancer Resource Center at Mount Zion and Emergency Department. The Summer Student Program is open to high school students age 14 and older.

Informational Sessions

All volunteer candidates must attend an informational session prior to registering for orientation.

Health Requirements

Volunteers must provide proof of the following health and immunization records:

  • Negative Tuberculin (TB) Tests — Two negative TB skin tests are required — one within the past year and another within the past three months, or a negative QuantiFeron blood test. If you have a positive TB skin test, you must have a negative chest X-ray report within the past year.
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) — Two vaccinations or positive blood titer. A titer is a test that measures your immune system's ability to protect against a disease or infection.
  • Chicken Pox (Varicella) — Proof of two vaccinations or positive blood titer.
  • Tetanus, Diptheria and Pertussis or Whooping Cough (Tdap) — Vaccination must have been administered after 2005.
  • Flu Vaccine — Required during flu season.

Recommendation Form

If you are a student, you must provide a completed recommendation form, which will be in the application packet.


After attending an informational session, completing the health requirements and attending an orientation, you will need to schedule an interview with a staff member of Volunteer Services to determine the best placement for you.


Fingerprinting is required for volunteers age 18 and older in pediatrics and gift shop assignments. Volunteer Services will make arrangements for you to be fingerprinted, if needed.

Examples of Volunteer Opportunities

Brew Crew

Visit adult patients in the hospital and offer families and visitors complimentary beverages and conversation.

Clinic Amenity Cart

Visit clinic waiting rooms and offer beverages, snacks and reading materials to patients and family members.

Falls and Safety Team

Check on patients identified as high risk for falls. Each volunteer is trained by a nurse to assist patients regarding safety and the prevention of falls. Volunteers must be comfortable interacting and conversing with a diverse patient population.

Gift Shop

Assist customers with purchases; help with displays, gift-wrapping and stocking supplies; deliver gifts to patients in the hospital.

Guest Services — Ambassador Program

Greet and assist patients and visitors in the busy clinics or Surgical Waiting Room.

Guest Services — Patient Information Desk

Provide information to visitors regarding patient, doctor and department locations as well as answer and transfer phone calls.

Hospital Nursing Units

Provide administrative support — filing, copying and collating forms. Volunteers may assist nurses with basic care such as serving and collecting patient meal trays, transporting patients, making beds and running errands. Volunteers must attend a Nursing Training Session before volunteering in a hospital unit. Volunteers must be self-directed and able to work independently.

Morning Newspaper Rounds

Visit adult hospital units and provide complimentary newspapers to patients and family members. This position involves extensive patient contact.

"Music is Good Medicine"

Volunteers sing or play instruments to comfort patients at the bedside.

Child Life Services

Child Life Services offers programs to meet the developmental and emotional needs of children and to make the hospital experience a positive one for patients and their families. Pediatric volunteers must be at least 18 years old.

  • All Stars Creative Arts Room — Volunteers assist patients and their siblings with playing games, music, art projects, navigating the Internet and other electronic fun.
  • Family Resource Room — Provide family members information and library resources about health, illness and coping with hospitalization.
  • In Stitches — Help teach or learn how to knit with a group of parents taking a break from the stress of having a child in the hospital.
  • Playroom — Engage children through therapeutic play, recreational activities and arts and crafts. The playroom is a safe, stress-free environment for children. Volunteers also help provide activities to patients at bedside, particularly those who are unable to leave their rooms for medical reasons.
  • Pediatric Prepare — Help prepare children for surgery using board games, video games, stories and art projects.
  • Ronald McDonald House Coffee Cart — Round on pediatric floors offering parents beverages and warm conversations.
  • School Program — Work with patients and siblings on homework and education activities in the School Program, Pediatric Dialysis Unit and in hospital patient rooms. The school is staffed by teachers, credentialed by the state Department of Education, who work with each child's school to ensure class requirements are met.
  • Scrapbooking — Help parents create memories by setting up supplies for a weekly scrapbooking group and assisting with scrapbooking at the bedside.
  • Teen Lounge — Encourage teens to participate in activities, listen to music, play video games and interact with other teens. The lounge is for patients and siblings 13 years of age and older.

Art for Recovery

Encourage patients to express themselves in Art for Recovery through creative projects such as painting, journal writing, poetry, music and quilting for the Breast Cancer Quilt Project. Volunteers may work with patients at the bedside, waiting area or in the Infusion Center. For more information, contact Cynthia Perlis, director of Art for Recovery, at cynthia.perlis@ucsfmedctr.org

"Caring Across Medical Centers"

Visit patients in the surgical, cancer and long-term care units in the hospital and provide complimentary amenities. Volunteers bring amenities from the Volunteer Services at Parnassus to Mount Zion via the UCSF shuttle.

Friend to Friend Cancer Boutique

Assist customers with purchases and gift wrapping. Help set up displays and stock supplies.

Ida and Joseph Friend Cancer Resource Center

Provide information, emotional support and community resources to cancer patients and their families and friends. The Ida and Joseph Friend Cancer Resource Center has an extensive multi-media library, specialized database for research, classes and support groups.

Summer Student Program

Students from Bay Area high schools can make a difference while learning valuable job skills in UCSF Medical Center's Summer Student Program.

Volunteers must be high school students between the ages of 14 and 18. The minimum commitment is three hours a day. Volunteers must serve the same day each week for eight consecutive weeks. Orientations are held in June.

For application information, contact Volunteer Services at (415) 353-1196 on the first Monday in April.

The following are examples of student assignments:

  • Book and Craft Cart
  • Brew Crew
  • Caring Across Medical Centers
  • Clinic Amenity Cart
  • Gift Stores
  • Guest Services — Patient Ambassador
  • Guest Services — Patient Information Desk
  • Patient Newspaper Delivery
  • Patient Visitor Program

If you work in a UCSF Medical Center department and would like to have a volunteer in your unit or would like to discuss volunteer utilization, please contact the Volunteer Services (415) 353-1196.

You can recognize a volunteer by submitting a H.E.A.R.T.S. (Honoring Exceptional And Random Treasured Service) form.

Related Information

Contact Us

Volunteer Services
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital
505 Parnassus Ave., Room M-167
Box 0208
San Francisco, CA 94143-0208

Hours: 8 a.m. – noon,
1 – 5 p.m., Monday to Friday

Phone: (415) 353-1196
Fax: (415) 353-8943

Vicki Kleemann, director of Volunteer Services
Debbie Gin, coordinator of Volunteer Services

Recognize a volunteer by submitting a H.E.A.R.T.S. (Honoring Exceptional And Random Treasured Service) form.