Application Process

Application Process

Thank you for your interest in volunteering at Penn State Children’s Hospital. New volunteers need to submit an application, attend orientation, and interview before volunteering.

Apply online now

The first step to becoming a volunteer is filling out an online application. Get started.

Do I need to submit a volunteer application?

It depends. If any of the following applies to you, you do not need to submit an application:

  • You’ve served as a volunteer in the past.
  • You recently submitted an application and want to make changes.
  • You submitted an application but were unable to attend orientation.

If you meet any of this criteria, do not submit an application. Instead, please call our office at 717-531-8278.

Who can apply to be a volunteer?

All volunteers must be 18 or older, unless they are participating in our Teen Program.

Volunteers must be able to commit to a minimum of 100 hours over a minimum of six months’ time.

Because the hospital incurs the cost of the mandatory health screenings and background checks, we are unable to accommodate short-term volunteer service. We are also unable to accommodate court-ordered community service.

What are the application requirements?

All volunteers must submit an online application, attend an orientation, and complete an interview.

Additionally, you must undergo:

  • A background check
  • Child abuse clearance
  • Fingerprinting
  • Health screening

Instructions and the required forms will be provided at orientation. There is no cost to volunteers for these services.

What happens after I fill out the application?

After you've completed your application, an email will be sent to the address you provide on this form. The email will contain the information you entered on your application.

Note that you will not hear directly from Volunteer Services. Please attend the orientation you chose on your application.

What do I need to know about orientation?

Orientations are held at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and are scheduled throughout the year. If you are a college student, you must come to orientation no later than February.

At the end of orientation, you will schedule an interview with the manager of Volunteer Services. Some volunteer positions, such as Child Life and Pet Therapy, require additional interviews or evaluations.

Learn more about volunteer orientation.

What can I expect during the interview?

You’ll talk with the manager of Volunteer Services about your interests and background. The interview is an opportunity to bring up questions you may have about volunteering and to match your skills and talents with the needs of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Because volunteers are asked to commit to work the same day and time each week, we ask that you come to the interview prepared with your availability.

What should I bring to my health screening?

All employee health requirements must be completed before you can start as a volunteer. This means that you will need to provide us with certain documentation or complete the necessary tests in our lab. There is no financial charge for our services.

At your health appointment, please bring:

  • Any documentation you have for childhood immunizations for MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and varicella (chickenpox). If you do not have records, you’ll receive a lab slip to go to our lab and have blood titers drawn to prove immunity.
  • Documentation of any recent (within three months) tuberculosis skin test, or PPD. If you have not had a TB test, a two-step test PPD will be administered. It will need to be read and results documented by a professional two to three days later.

How long does the application process take?

Mandatory health screenings and background checks could take up to two months to complete, and you will not start your assignment until all are completed.

Contact us

If you have questions about volunteering, please contact Volunteer Services at 717-531-8278.