Volunteer Work

World International


Hello everyone,

I was just wondering if you have any suggestions on where (what hospitals/clinics) I could do volunteer work? I want to work on areas like OR, ER or Medical Ward. I live here in Thornhill, Ontario. Are there requirements besides being a licensed nurse? I would love to hear your suggestions and responses. Thanks so much :redpinkhe

Most GTA hospitals only allow you as a volunteer to either chat with patients, refill water for patients or be patient guide (i.e., if a patient is loss you're expected to take them from point A to point B). Each hospital is different but most hospitals require you to get a TB test, attend their orientation, references and police check because you are working with vulnerable populations. Sometimes they also want to have an interview with you. Talk with the volunteer coordinator of the facility you want to volunteer at, they'll guide you through the process. I know that some hospitals like UHN gives you free TB test if you're volunteering with them. I'm not sure if this is still exists but hey if it's still FREE, go for it because it saves you $10-20.

I'm not sure what you can do in the OR but you can definitely be used in the ER and Med/Surg floors (especially the latter). Oh and to volunteer you don't have to be a nurse. They got a lot of retirees, post-sec. students and secondary students.

Wow thanks m_aidez! Some hospitals require volunteers to have stayed and lived here for at least a year. I just recently migrated last 3 months ago. Do you know any suggestions where (what hospital) I could observe and learn a lot and be familiarize with what nurses do and use here in Canada. thanks!!!

Welcome! I'm not sure if you can shadow a nurse because they're pretty busy with their workload. Also, some of them usually have a student nurse that they supervise. You can try smaller suburban hospitals but again, it's not a guarantee. As to suggestions, I don't really have any because it depends on where you want to work once your graduate. The UHN hospitals are pretty good but they're in downtown Toronto.

I do have a suggestion regarding volunteering in general. Since hospitals won't allow you to volunteer until you have lived here for a year, why don't you try out illness specific societies like the "Canadian Diabetes Society," "Cancer Society," "MS Society," etc. So that once you hit that one year mark and you're ready to apply for volunteering positions at the hospital you have references to vouch for you. Also think creatively; there's so much more than just the hospital and it's good to experience different things. You can also volunteer for Women Centres, Community Resource Centres, and Long Term Care facilities.

No Canadian hospital will permit volunteers to work as nurses, especially in the OR. The various union contracts require nurses with students to be paid for their time. That's what new hire orientation periods are for.

Think of the violations of the various provincial privacy laws.

Is the OP from the Phillipines, where it seems cheap labour is obtained by requiring nurses to volunteer their labour?

Thanks m_aidez! I was thinking of doing specific societies or groups like you've mentioned. It was a big help! I'll keep you posted on what I've decided to do. God bless!

@Fiona: Yes I'm from the Philippines, and sadly that happens in our country. But all I wanted was to get familiarize with the hospital set up because I just recently migrated and I want to have a reference that I could give when I apply in nursing jobs. I also want to meet new people and friends. I know they won't allow me to do nursing work specially without supervision.

Thanks for the responses! :redpinkhe

I want to make it clear to you that volunteers don't do anything "health related" per se with patients in GTA hospitals. You can probably shadow a nurse but you can't do nursing interventions even with nursing supervision. Most volunteers in hospitals are usually monitors/greeters/friendly visitors, or they do administrative/office clerk duties. Some hospitals if you volunteer with them long enough they could probably hire you as a patient observer. Patient observers are individuals who monitor certain patients who wander or who have certain needs (usually patients with mental illness). Even then as a patient observer you're only allowed to talk to the patient and report bizarre behaviours to their attending nurse. Good luck!

I am aware of that, thanks for the information m_aidez. godbless you!

You're welcome.

Oh btw, here is a website that gives you a listing of volunteer positions. That's where I find some of my volunteering opportunities. As you can tell, I love volunteering. I've never volunteered in the hospital because I know there's a lot of needy communities out there and my interest varies. I hope I can continue volunteering when I become an RN.

CharityVillage Main Street

wow! I want to do that too. Back in the Philippines, I do medical missions and volunteer work with my friends and I feel so happy and glad to be able to help others. I'll check on it tomorrow. Goodluck on your endeavors m_aidez!

Hi Ikai!

I'll be migrating in ontario also.. specifically in niagara falls.. I hope I can chat with you.. would you mind if I can get you YM or skype? thanks

hi avhiecasis! niagara is far from where I am residing.. You could message me here or on my email: [email protected]. If you have questions regarding nursing, I don't know know if I will be much of help but I'll try. I'm new here as well. God bless!

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