Hospital for Special Surgery is nationally ranked No. 1 for orthopedics, and No. 3 for rheumatology by U.S.News & World Report (2017-18). Currently, we have over 300 volunteers ranging from high school students to retirees who provide services in different areas listed in detail below. You will find volunteering at HSS to be a beneficial and rewarding experience for not only the individual but also the HSS community.
To comply with HSS policies, volunteers must complete the following steps before they begin to volunteer at HSS:
Should we determine that you may be a good fit for a particular volunteer program, we will reach out to you for an initial interview.
If the initial interview is successful, we will then forward your resume and cover letter to the applicable site supervisor for a second interview.
If the second interview is positive, we will contact your two references.
Once we receive a favorable response from your references, you will be asked to complete an application and participate in an online orientation session.
Once you have completed the online orientation session, you will need to schedule an over the phone appointment with a member of the Volunteer Department staff to discuss medical clearance options.
Please note, on average our process takes about 3-4 weeks to complete.
From Fall through Spring volunteers are required to donate at least 150 total hours over a 6 month period with a minimum of 4-5 hours per week.
During the summer months volunteers are required to donate at least 100 hours within a 10 week period with a minimum of 10-12 hours per week.
Volunteers must be 15 years of age or older.
Current opportunities for volunteering:
- Ambulatory Care Center: Formally welcome and log in and escort all patients and visitors, provide directions and updates regarding wait times and the progress of the patient’s journey. Volunteers work closely with registrars, nurses and doctors’ office staff.
- HSS ASC of Manhattan (ambulatory surgery center, off-site at 65th Street and Second Avenue): Volunteers are responsible for greeting and assisting patients, family and friends in navigating from the entrance of the center to the registration area on the 2nd floor. They also assist patients, family and friends in the discharge process at the center's entrance.
- Child Life Program: Volunteers are utilized to plan and implement age-appropriate play, recreational and supportive activities in the playroom and at bedside in order to support the normal growth and development of the hospitalized child, help alleviate stress and normalize the hospital environment for children and families.
- Coffee Cart & Amenities: Volunteers offer afternoon coffee, tea, and cookies to our in-patients and family members. The volunteer should be adept at chatting with patients and visitors as they serve the beverages and cookies.
- Department of Medicine Patient Care Liaison Program for 3 different areas:
- 7 West: Volunteers are responsible for ensuring a coordinated and consistent patient experience through the clinical practice area. Help assist patients with forms that need to be completed prior to the physicians seeing the patient. Inform patients of the status of their waiting time for the physician by interacting with the nurse staff on reasons for delays and when to be expected to be seen. Assist nursing staff to transport patients without wheelchairs, to other patient care locations
- 6 West: Volunteers provide a critical link among patients, families, and staff, for problem-solving as necessary. Inform patients of the status of their waiting time for the physician by interacting with the nurse staff on reasons for delays and when to be expected to be seen. Collaborate and communicate with Nursing, Registrars, and office staff. Pickup medication from the pharmacy and deliver to the appropriate floor. Provide assistance with offering water and snacks to the patients and picking up weekly nutrition from kitchen.
- 7th Floor – Belaire Building: Volunteers provide reception, errand support (for example, picking up packages from mailroom) and light clerical duties at the nursing station. Monitor patients leaving and returning from diagnostic services – to ensure timely flow of care. Work in partnership with nursing by bringing patients into clinical area to prepare them for their office visit.
- Happy Wheels: Volunteers offer coffee, tea, juice, snacks and games for our pediatric patients and their families on our pediatric in-patient floor and in pediatric rehabilitation. Seeking volunteers who will make a long term commitment and are used to interacting with children who are ill. This is a joint program between HSS and Ronald McDonald House. This program runs weekdays from 2:30PM-5:30PM ONLY!
- Holding Surgical Reception Area: Volunteers provide a critical link among patients, families, and staff, problem-solving as necessary. The primary role of the Holding Volunteers is to make friendly visits and provide assistance to patients as well as their family members and friends. Volunteers support the Patient Liaisons and Nursing staff by making rounds in Holding and the Surgical Reception Area, offering assistance and empathy.
- International Center – Administrative Assistant: Volunteers assist the office staff with the clerical/administrative duties of the International Center, including various tasks and responsibilities.
- Language Services Tech: Volunteers assist the department with multiple tasks related to off-site interpreting technology. Some of these responsibilities will include making rounds and locating the equipment throughout the hospital, maintenance of system as well as assist the Senior Director and Coordinator with keeping records of the satisfaction survey results.
- Network Engineering (IT Department): The role of the Network Engineering Intern/Volunteer is to support and assist the department with documentation and maintenance tasks revolving around our wired and wireless network. Other duties include: Helping update AP placement maps on the Airwave monitoring system, helping track down exact locations of APs on various floors at the hospital, assisting with Wifi surveys at multiple Hospital locations, updating maps on Airwave with correct structural attributes, assisting in troubleshooting wired and wireless network issues.
- Osteoporosis and Metabolic Bone Center: Volunteers assist patients with filling out an online clinical data collection platform. The Center is open between the hours of 7 am and 5:30 pm. Volunteers will sign up for 2-3 hour shifts during that period. Most needed time slots are during midday (between 10:30 am and 2 pm). Number of shifts per week and duration of commitment are flexible.
- Patient Navigation/Patient Information Desk: Volunteers provide a warm welcome to all patients and visitors upon arrival to HSS and direct them to the right appointment location. Coordinate services with Security to provide the safest and most efficient patient transfer and ensure the most positive visit experience. Tasks include but are not limited to: providing support with administering visitor passes through the new Fast Pass System. Coverage is needed on Saturdays and Sundays as well as weeknights.
- Private Doctors Office Intern: Volunteers assist office staff with clerical work as needed, answering phone calls, directing patients, assisting with status updates, taking messages, etc.
- Rehabilitation/Physical and Occupational Therapy: If you are interested in becoming a volunteer in the rehabilitation department, please download and read this fact sheet, and complete the mandatory information sheet on page 2.
- Surgical Liaison Programs: The liaisons are responsible for welcoming and orienting arriving patients and families. They provide updates about the patient’s surgical journey or procedure, escort families to see loved ones in PACU/Recovery, circulate to ensure families’ questions and needs are met, and work closely with medical and waiting area staff to ease the hospital experience for patients and families. Openings are available in:
- Ambulatory Surgery
- 4th Floor Family Atrium
- Special Procedures Unit
- Hand & Foot Center
NOTE: Due to the number of applications we receive, we are unable to respond to everyone. We will respond to applicants whom we determine to be good matches for programs which have openings. Please be aware that volunteering with us does not guarantee employment.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212.606.1228.