Please check our volunteer programs pages for the most up-to-date application information.
What onboarding requirements do volunteers need to complete?
After completing the application and interview process, all accepted volunteers are required to complete a medical clearance with Occupational Health, including providing proof of COVID-19 vaccine, an online background check and an online orientation prior to the start of service.
Pet Visitation volunteers are required to submit proof of active therapy dog team registration and the therapy animal’s current health records, (specifically documenting rabies and DHLPP vaccinations). Heartworm preventative and parasite control should be up to date and on schedule.
Have your volunteer programs recently changed?
Yes, in 2021 the Volunteer Services team restructured our volunteer programs to better meet the needs of the hospital. The new assignments are an expansion upon much of the framework that our volunteers have already experienced, while incorporating new skills and experiences that further expand the organic reach of our volunteers.
Which volunteer assignments allow for patient interaction?
All volunteer roles will allow for patient interaction. Unit Based Volunteers, Canine Couriers, Volunteer Tutors, Bedside Readers, Summer Child Life Volunteers, Pet Visitation Teams and Musicians On Call visit with patients at the bedside. All other assignments will allow for interaction with inpatients and outpatients in various settings.
Can I just volunteer to help with special events?
At this time, there is no separate special event volunteer role. Active volunteers have the opportunity to sign up for additional shifts to assist with special events.
Can I volunteer for one day or one week only?
At this time, episodic volunteer opportunities are on hold.
Can I volunteer with a group?
At this time, group volunteer opportunities are on hold.
Can I shadow a physician?
Talent Acquisition’s Special Category team manages the onboarding of observers, student interns, clinical trainees, research trainees and sponsored employees.
What training is required for new volunteers?
FUNdamental training will focus on professionalism, office procedures, hospital policies, hospitality training, patient experience training and hospital (wayfinding) orientation. Training will be a combination of on-the-job training and online modules. Once FUNdamental training is complete, volunteers will assume the duties of their official volunteer assignment while utilizing the knowledge and skills attained during their holistic training.
What new policies are in place regarding COVID-19 for the hospital and volunteers in particular?
The hospital continues to follow policies for healthcare settings put in place by the District of Columbia's Department of Health and the D.C. Hospital Association. All volunteers will be thoroughly trained on the most updated COVID policies and procedures prior to entering the hospital.
Is the COVID-19 vaccine required for all volunteers?
Yes. After thoughtful consideration, and in line with recommendations from the D.C. and Maryland Hospital Associations, Children’s National has decided to make the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for all employees and volunteers. You are considered "fully vaccinated" two weeks after the second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Medical and religious exemptions apply.
Please do not hesitate to contact the Volunteer Services team at with any additional questions you may have. Thank you!