Volunteers come to UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital and UCSF Medical Center for many reasons. Some come to help others and contribute to the community. Others come to learn about the medical profession and to 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 not accepting additional applications at this time. Please check our website on Monday, August 25, for information regarding upcoming orientations.

Summer Volunteer Program

Thank you for your interest in UCSF's Summer Volunteer Program. All 150 applications were distributed on April 7, the first day requests were made available. Our Summer Student application process is now complete.


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 and Children's Emergency. The Summer Student Program is open to high school students age 14 and older.

Volunteer Requirements


All volunteer candidates must attend an orientation prior to placement. Orientations are held quarterly. Attending an orientation, however, does not guarantee a volunteer placement.


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 the 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 (Tdap) — Must document that this vaccine was administered after 2005, when pertussis, also known as whooping cough, was added.
  • Flu Vaccine — Required during flu season.
  • Hepatitis B Series — Required for volunteers in Children's Emergency.

Recommendation Form

If you're a student, you must provide a completed recommendation form, which will be in your student application packet.


After completing the health requirements and attending an orientation, please schedule an interview with a staff member of Volunteer Services to determine the best placement for you. You'll meet with the supervisor of a selected department to discuss training and potential work schedule.


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

We have many volunteer assignments. The following is a sample of the opportunities available. Please call Volunteer Services for an orientation packet and a complete listing of assignments.

Examples of Volunteer Opportunities at Parnassus

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. There is a six-month minimum commitment for Child Life Services positions. Child Life services include:

  • All Stars Creative Arts Room — 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 in a safe, stress-free environment. 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 Room — Work with patients and siblings on homework and education activities in the School Room, Pediatric Dialysis Unit and 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.

Children's Emergency (Currently Full) — Help make patients comfortable by offering pillows, blankets and reading materials and serving food trays. Volunteers also assist with stocking supplies and serve as "runners" to labs, Radiology and Nutrition and Dietetics. They also serve as liaisons between families and staff. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and make a minimum six-month commitment.

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, hospital patient population.

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

Guest Services — Ambassador Program — Greet, escort and assist patients and visitors in our busy clinics and 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 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.

Music is Good Medicine — Volunteers sing and play instruments to comfort patients at the bedside.

Summer Student Program

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

Volunteers must be at least 14 years old and attend an orientation in June. We ask for a minimum commitment of four hours per week for eight weeks.

Contact our office at (415) 353-1196 on the first Monday in April to request an application.

The following is a sampling of some of student assignments:

  • Book and Craft Cart
  • Caring Across Medical Centers Program
  • Gift Shop
  • Guest Services — Patient Ambassador
  • Guest Services — Patient Information Desk
  • Patient Visitor Program

If you are a manager at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital or UCSF Medical Center and would like a volunteer in your unit, please contact Volunteer Services at (415) 353-1196.

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.