Careers at Lifespan Health System

Frequently Asked Questions about Volunteering at Rhode Island Hospital and its Hasbro Children's Hospital

Are you interested in becoming a volunteer at Rhode Island Hospital or its Hasbro Children's Hospital? Here are the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

How do I become a volunteer?

After attending a volunteer information session, candidates must complete an interview, health screening, criminal background check and orientation. This process takes three to four weeks, depending on the candidate’s availability and ability to complete the registration process.

What is the minimum age to volunteer?

Volunteers must be at least 14 years old to volunteer at Rhode Island Hospital. At Hasbro Children’s Hospital the minimum age is 18, and the volunteer must be out of high school. All new volunteers start  as volunteer ambassadors (greeters). After successfully completing the ambassador role (30 hours for adults and 50 hours for high schoolers), they may volunteer in another placement.

What is the time commitment?

Adult volunteers and college students are asked to commit to a minimum of 100 hours of service. High school students are asked to commit to 50 hours of service. While there are some two-hour shifts, most volunteer shifts are four hours long. We ask volunteers to complete the minimum required hours within a year or less. No forms will be signed or documentation provided until the minimum hours are completed.

Do I need to commit to the same shift every week?

Yes, some programs are not possible without volunteers. Volunteers supplant the staff; therefore, staff and departments rely on volunteers showing up consistently on their scheduled shifts.

Can I volunteer in more than one position?

Yes, as long as you can make the commitment of the agreed upon schedule.

What type of training will I receive?

Volunteers will be trained by volunteer services staff, staff within the department in which the volunteer will be placed, and/or seasoned volunteer trainers.

Do you accept everyone who applies for a volunteer position?

No, we cannot guarantee a volunteer position for everyone. The needs of the hospital and volunteer roles change during the course of the year. There may not be an appropriate match or opening for all volunteers when they apply and/or interview.

Is there a volunteer dress code?

Yes, volunteers are required to wear the volunteer services uniform (blue vest), as well as a volunteer badge. Jeans, shorts and flip flops are prohibited. More information regarding the dress code will be provided at the new volunteer orientation.

Are there any costs associated with volunteering?

There is a $12 charge for the volunteer uniform.

Are there “baby cuddler” volunteer roles?

Volunteers in our playrooms occasionally have contact with infants. However, there are no volunteer roles dedicated to cuddling babies.

Can I volunteer in research?

Volunteer services does not place or register volunteers in research positions.

Can I complete my community service hours for high school at Rhode Island Hospital?

Yes, you can complete your required school community service hours. However, no forms will be signed or documentation provided until the minimum hours (50) are completed.

Can I shadow a physician?

Shadowing is outside the scope of the volunteer position and is not coordinated through volunteer services.

Can I get an internship?

Internships are outside the scope of the volunteer position and are not coordinated through volunteer services.

Will I get a job after completing my volunteer commitment?

While volunteering will certainly enhance your resume and provide you with valuable experience in a professional work environment, it does not guarantee employment at Rhode Island Hospital or its Hasbro Children’s Hospital. Employees are chosen based on their skill set, experience and education.

I have a group who wants to volunteer for a day. Is that possible?

Volunteers are required to be fully registered and commit to a minimum of 100 volunteer hours within a year or less. However, Hasbro Children’s Hospital does allow a small number of individuals and adult groups to provide special events and entertainment to patients during certain times of the year.

Please review the Hasbro Children's Hospital Special Entertainment Guidelines for more information.

Can I bring a guest when I volunteer?

No, per hospital policy, volunteers must complete the volunteer credentialing process.

Are volunteers required to get a flu shot?

Yes, volunteers are required to get a flu shot during flu season. Flu shots are provided for free for anyone 18 years of age or older. Volunteers who have a signed medical exemption from their doctor are the only exception, and they must wear a mask when volunteering during flu season.

Are volunteers required to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes, it is a requirement. No exceptions are made.

What if I need to take a break from volunteering?

Any returning volunteers who have taken a break or who have been away for three months or longer must contact volunteer services, as well as the employee health department, and obtain another TB test. Such volunteers are not guaranteed their same schedule. Depending on the length of the leave, Volunteer services may require updated forms.