Volunteer Placement Opportunities
Hours: Monday through Friday - 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Volunteers assist in various positions throughout the Institute as needed. Tasks may include answering phones, data entry, copying, and being cross-trained to fill in for other essential jobs. Good verbal and written skills in English are required. Must be organized and able to understand and follow directions. Must work effectively with others maintaining confidentiality and compassion.
Volunteers visit with patients on hospital floors and clinic areas to provide reading material. Books and magazines dated within the last three months are donated. Volunteers sort them, place a sticker over the address and distribute them to all waiting areas and remove old magazines. Then the cart is ready for visits to patients. Good communication skills are needed and ability to walk extensively.
Volunteers have an opportunity to visit with patients and families making their wait time in the clinical areas easier. With a partner, the volunteer stocks the necessary essentials on the cart and travels from clinic to clinic and waiting areas to offer beverages and snacks to patients and visitors. When the shift is completed, the volunteer returns the cart to the kitchen and readies the essentials for the next volunteer. The volunteer must be self-motivated, have a congenial personality, good communication skills, patience and ability to walk with the cart.
A volunteer prepares the craft cart with arts & crafts provided by the Patient Advocacy Department. The variety of crafts provide patients/family members inside and outside the clinical waiting areas of the hospital some pleasant diversions to pass the time as well as allowing a friendly visit to lend support and hospitality. The volunteer must be dependable, update the inventory and be able to walk with the cart in a friendly and helpful manner.
Errand/Escort - Helping Hands
Volunteers assist staff/departments by completing errands and escorting/transporting appropriate patients according to policies & procedures. Tasks may include answering phones to assign tasks, mailings, assembling packets, taking medical records from one area to another, etc. Volunteers must have good communication skills in English, ability to walk distances. A seasoned volunteer acts as a mentor for new volunteers.
Friendly Visitor in Nursing Units
Volunteers are assigned to a hospital floor and visit with patients and their families. Volunteers are able to read or write for patients, serve water and give some aid to nursing staff. Some walking and good communication skills required.
Volunteers provide assistance in a busy retail and sundries shop. Responsibilities include assisting customers, cashiering, providing information about the store’s stock and assisting with inventory, stocking and marking goods, straightening, dusting, vacuuming, etc. Volunteers receive training and are required to have excellent customer service skills in addition to compassion and patience. Proceeds from sales support the Institute.
High School Student Program
The Hospitality Cart is one of the many opportunities we have for high school students. It requires youthful energy and positivity. The cart is stocked with various items from our Gift Shop including trinkets, toiletries, and magazines and puzzle books which are sold to patients in rooms and reception areas. The Hospitality Cart requires great attention to detail as its duties include making change, keeping inventory and more, while maintaining a cheerful demeanor and rapport with patients. Some of our patients are unable to leave their rooms to go to the Gift Shop and do not get many visitors so it is important that our volunteers are punctual and reliable. Our patients appreciate the young high school students visiting with them in addition to providing them opportunities to purchase items from our Gift Shop.
We require a minimum of 24 hours of service from our high school volunteers between July and the end of August. We do not allow high school students to volunteer during the school year. Students may contact the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation to help out with any events during the school year.
We accept applications up until May 1st or until the program reaches capacity.
The Hospitality Room at Roswell Park Cancer Institute serves as a place for patients, visitors and family members to relax and escape from the harsh realities of the reason they are here: cancer. It is a kitchen/dinette/living room/recreation room equipped with coffee, hot and cold running water (for tea), as well as store bought donations brought in by the volunteers who staff the room as well as a television. Typically two volunteers are manning the room and are consistently dispensing coffee and refreshments while maintaining a positive demeanor. It is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. The room also houses books donated to the Volunteer Office at Roswell Park as well as knitted hats and lap robes. With the ability to bring the patients comfort and ease, the Hospitality Room feels more like a home than a hospital. It is essential to the mental and emotional care of our patients.
The volunteers chosen to staff the Hospitality Room are warm, positive, punctual, and dedicated to interacting with patients in a way doctors and clinicians cannot. Smiles are a staple in the Hospitality Room.
For volunteers who like to meet and greet the public, staffing the Volunteer Information desk is ideal. These volunteers greet and direct inpatients, families, and visitors; answer telephones, receive floral arrangements and give directions, stamp parking tickets, and other information as required. The volunteer must have good communication skills, be self-motivated, and able to maintain a pleasant demeanor at all times. Some computer skills are required. Two people are required for each shift.
Nursing Unit Volunteer
Volunteers assist the nursing staff by performing a variety of tasks for staff and patients including running errands, transporting patients and paperwork. Must be extroverted, mature, able to work with others, positive, compassionate, and follow directions.
Pastoral Care Volunteer Visitor (Day, evening and weekend)
Volunteers assist the Chaplaincy Department by visiting patients to provide an awareness of the chaplains of all denominations. They are able to relay information, make follow-up visits and be a spiritual comfort to both inpatients and outpatients. The volunteer needs excellent communication skills and understanding of appropriate spiritual guidance. Extra training required.
Pastoral Care Chaplain (Day, evening and weekends)
Protestant, Catholic, Jewish and other denominations are visited by clergy and assisted by volunteers for Mass, and other religious services. Volunteers bring the Eucharist to Roman Catholic patients and families under the direction of the Department of Pastoral Care. Approved training required. Requires mature, excellent communication abilities and confidentiality.
Pastoral Care Visitor (Day and evening)
Volunteers minister to the spiritual needs of patients and families under the direction of the Director of Pastoral Care. Demonstrates good verbal and listening communication skills, extroverted, mature, compassionate, maintain confidentiality. Completion of an interfaith course required.
Pet Therapy Program
Certified dogs and their volunteer owners provide companionship with emotional and physical benefits to patients/families/staff. Talking with volunteers and petting the dog provides a source of comfort in the clinical waiting areas. The volunteer and the dog need to interact well with patients, families and visitors. Therapy dogs are certified by Therapy Dogs International and Pet Partners.
The American Cancer Society and Roswell Park Cancer Institute worked together to create a healthcare hospitality program that connects patients and their families with cancer survivors. Dressed in purple shirts, these dedicated volunteers visit clinics throughout the RPCI hospital, bringing compassion, understanding, and practical information about RPCI resources and supportive services. If you don’t see a Purple Shirt in your clinic and would like to speak to someone, please visit The Resource Center for Patients and Families at Roswell Park, or call the Office of Patient and Family Experience at 716-845-8114.
Volunteers will supplement the shuttle service for patients, visitors and employees under the Institute's Security Office. Volunteers will provide transportation to and from on street parking and surrounding neighborhoods. The driver's Institute vehicle will be stationed next to the parking ramp entrance. Volunteers will need good verbal skills in English, a friendly personality, be polite and patient, maintain confidentiality and be dependable and reliable.
Surgical/Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Waiting Area (Day, evening)
Volunteers maintain a comfortable, warm environment for family members and friends while patients are in surgery or the ICU. Volunteers visit with family members in the waiting area and offer beverages and other items to make them comfortable. Volunteers communicate information between patient’s family members, nurse/physicians regarding the status of the patient. Strong customer service, communication skills, complete awareness of confidentiality and compassion is required to volunteer.
This is a group of volunteers who bring the resources of the Cancer Resource Center out to patients and family members. They visit the lobby and waiting areas of the hospital with an “information cart” containing cancer patient education, support services available and local points of interest or lodging. They also can help answer questions, direct patients to their next appointment and offer personalized support and care.