The Caring Support Blog

How to Get Started with Volunteering in Healthcare Jobs: Tips and Resources for Beginners

July 6, 2023

Volunteering in healthcare jobs is a rewarding way to give back to your community while gaining valuable experience and making a positive impact on the lives of others. If you're a Canadian interested in exploring volunteer opportunities in healthcare, this article is for you. We'll provide you with useful tips, resources, and guidance on how to get started on your volunteering journey.

Understand the Importance of Volunteering in Healthcare

Volunteering in healthcare is a significant endeavour that holds numerous benefits for both individuals and the healthcare system as a whole. By actively participating in healthcare volunteer work, you can make a meaningful impact on the lives of patients and contribute to the well-being of your community. Here are some key reasons why volunteering in healthcare is essential:

Enhancing Patient Care

Healthcare volunteers play a crucial role in improving patient experiences by offering compassionate support, companionship, and assistance. Whether it's spending time with patients, providing comfort during challenging times, or helping with non-medical tasks, volunteers contribute to enhancing the overall quality of care.

Personal and Professional Growth

Volunteering in healthcare offers a unique opportunity for personal and professional development. It allows you to acquire and strengthen valuable skills such as communication, empathy, teamwork, and problem-solving. These skills can be transferable to various areas of life and boost your career prospects, particularly if you're considering a healthcare-related profession.

Gaining Industry Insights

Volunteering provides a firsthand glimpse into the healthcare industry. By engaging with healthcare professionals and witnessing their work, you can gain a deeper understanding of the challenges, rewards, and intricacies of the field. This experience can help shape your career aspirations and provide valuable insights when making future educational or career decisions.

Building Networks and Connections

Volunteering offers an excellent opportunity to expand your network and connect with like-minded individuals who share your passion for healthcare. Building relationships with healthcare professionals, fellow volunteers, and organization staff can open doors to mentorship, references, and potential employment opportunities down the line.

Making a Difference

Volunteering in healthcare is a powerful way to give back to your community and make a positive impact on the lives of others. Every act of kindness, whether big or small, can bring comfort, hope, and support to patients and their families during challenging times. By dedicating your time and energy, you contribute to creating a healthier and more caring society.

Research Healthcare Organizations and Opportunities

Start by researching healthcare organizations in your local community or the area where you wish to volunteer. Hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and non-profit organizations often have volunteer programs in place. Look for opportunities that align with your interests, skills, and availability. Here are some resources to help you find volunteering opportunities in Canada:

  1. Volunteer Canada 
  2. CharityVillage 
  3. Healthcare organizations' websites and social media platforms
  4. Local community centers and bulletin boards

Contact Healthcare Organizations

Once you have identified potential healthcare organizations, reach out to them to express your interest in volunteering. Contact their volunteer coordinators or the human resources department to inquire about available positions and the application process. Be prepared to provide your resume, references, and any required documentation, such as a police background check or immunization records.

Consider the Areas of Healthcare You're Passionate About

When exploring volunteer opportunities in healthcare, it's essential to consider the specific areas that align with your passions and skills. Healthcare encompasses a diverse range of roles, beyond direct patient care, that contributes to the overall functioning of the industry. Here are some common areas of healthcare volunteering to help you identify where your interests lie:

Patient Support and Companionship

Volunteering in patient support roles involves offering emotional support, companionship, and assistance to individuals receiving medical care. This can include activities such as engaging in conversations, reading to patients, accompanying them during treatments or therapy sessions, or simply being a comforting presence.

Administrative Support

Administrative volunteers play a vital role in healthcare organizations by assisting with clerical tasks and ensuring smooth operations. This can involve tasks like answering phones, filing paperwork, data entry, organizing medical records, coordinating appointments, or providing assistance in reception areas.

Fundraising and Event Planning

Volunteering in fundraising and event planning allows you to contribute to healthcare organizations by helping them raise funds for medical research, equipment, patient support programs, and community initiatives. This may involve organizing fundraising events, managing campaigns, seeking sponsorships, or assisting with marketing and promotion.

Health Education and Advocacy

If you have a passion for educating and empowering others, volunteering in health education and advocacy can be a fulfilling choice. This involves conducting health workshops, creating educational materials, participating in community outreach programs, and advocating for health-related issues to raise awareness and promote positive change.

How to Get Started with Volunteering in Healthcare Jobs

Medical Research Assistance

Volunteering in medical research allows you to contribute to scientific advancements and the development of new treatments and therapies. This may involve assisting researchers with data collection, participant recruitment, literature reviews, laboratory tasks, or administrative support within research settings.

When selecting a specific area of healthcare volunteering, it's crucial to assess your skills, interests, and availability. Consider which roles align with your strengths and offer opportunities for personal growth and learning. Remember, each area plays a vital role in supporting the healthcare system and making a difference in the lives of patients and the community as a whole.

Read More: The Benefits Of Volunteering In Healthcare Jobs For Students And Professionals

Training and Certification

When considering healthcare volunteering opportunities, it's important to be aware that certain positions may require specific training or certifications. Organizations often provide these training sessions to ensure volunteers are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to carry out their roles effectively and safely. Here are some common training and certification areas for healthcare volunteers:

Basic Life Support (BLS) Certification

BLS certification is often required for volunteers who may be involved in direct patient care or those who may need to respond to emergency situations. BLS training covers essential life-saving techniques such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), using automated external defibrillators (AEDs), and providing basic first aid.

First Aid and CPR Training

First aid and CPR training are valuable for volunteers who may encounter medical emergencies or provide immediate assistance in critical situations. This training equips volunteers with the knowledge and skills to respond appropriately to injuries, sudden illnesses, and cardiac arrest until professional medical help arrives.

Patient Confidentiality and Privacy

Volunteers who have access to patient information must understand and uphold strict confidentiality and privacy standards. Training on patient confidentiality ensures that volunteers respect patient rights, maintain the security of personal health information, and adhere to legal and ethical guidelines.

Infection Control and Prevention

Healthcare settings require strict infection control measures to ensure the safety of patients, staff, and volunteers. Training in infection control and prevention educates volunteers on proper hand hygiene, personal protective equipment (PPE) usage, isolation protocols, and general infection control practices to minimize the spread of infections.

Cultural Competence and Sensitivity

Volunteers often interact with diverse patient populations, each with their unique cultural backgrounds and beliefs. Cultural competence training helps volunteers understand and appreciate different cultures, enabling them to provide respectful and inclusive care to individuals from various backgrounds.

Specific Role-Related Training

Certain volunteer positions may require specialized training related to the tasks or responsibilities involved. For example, volunteers working in hospice care may undergo training on grief support, end-of-life care, and emotional well-being, while volunteers in health education programs may receive training on effective teaching techniques and health promotion strategies.

When applying for healthcare volunteering positions, inquire about the training and certification requirements and be prepared to participate in any necessary training programs. These certifications not only enhance your effectiveness as a volunteer but also contribute to the overall safety and well-being of patients and healthcare environments.

Read More: The Impact That Healthcare Volunteering Has On Mental Health

Time Commitment and Scheduling

Consider your availability and the time commitment you can make as a volunteer. Healthcare organizations may require a minimum number of hours per week or have specific shifts available. Determine what works best for you and communicate your availability clearly during the application process.

Caring Support: An All-in-One Healthcare Employment Platform:

Caring Support is a groundbreaking healthcare employment platform connecting healthcare workers to employers in Canada. Whether you're interested in volunteering, part-time, or full-time employment opportunities in healthcare, Caring Support offers a comprehensive range of services. From searching and applying for positions to managing your schedule and maintaining your professional profile, Caring Support simplifies the process and enhances your experience in finding rewarding healthcare opportunities.

Sign up for a FREE account and get connected today!


Volunteering in healthcare jobs is a fulfilling way to contribute to society and gain valuable experience. By following the tips mentioned above and utilizing the available resources, you'll be well on your way to starting your volunteering journey in the healthcare sector. Remember, the impact you make can have a profound effect on the lives of others, and with platforms like Caring Support, finding the right healthcare volunteering or employment opportunity in Canada has never been easier. Take the leap and make a difference today!

About The Author
Bonne Zalzos
Content Writer

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