Frequently Asked Questions


  • What are the benefits of volunteering?
    • Gain experience and exposure to working in a community-based hospital that provides culturally competent healthcare services
    • Learn more about the department/field that you volunteer in, as well as other departments and the healthcare field as a whole
    • Obtain credit for community service or other academic requirements
    • Serve and support patients and families who use Chinese Hospital’s services
  • Where will I be placed?

Efforts will be made to assign volunteers to an area/role that matches their goals, skills and interests. However, placements will ultimately be determined according to the needs and capacity of the hospital and its departments.

  • What will I be doing as a volunteer?

The specific tasks of the volunteer will vary by department and depend on the individual volunteers’ experience/skills as well as the current needs and capacity of each department. Due to legal and liability issues, volunteers may not be able to engage in direct patient care. However, remember that you can always learn by observing and listening. For specific information on the possible tasks and responsibilities of volunteers working in various departments, please refer to the application page.

  • How can I make the most of my volunteer experience?

First and foremost, know that health care is a team effort. Therefore, everyone’s contribution is important, including yours. Second, remember that the quality of a volunteer’s experience depends on a number of factors, the most important of which is one’s attitude. No matter what you are doing, whether it is a simple or complex task, keep your eyes and ears open, maintain an open mind, think about how what you’ve been asked to do fits into the larger picture, and when in doubt, ask questions. Lastly, be patient. Allow time for good working relationships to develop and enrich your volunteer experience.

  • When can I volunteer? Are there weekend shifts?

Days and hours vary by department. Weekend shifts are available in Nursing and Pharmacy. For information on when each department accept volunteers, please refer to the application page.

  • Why are there minimum and maximum limits to the term of service? 

Due to the high volume of applicants to the volunteer program, limits have been established to allow us to provide meaningful volunteer opportunities to as many qualified volunteers as possible. 

  • What if I still have questions after reviewing all the information on this website?

If you have additional questions that are not answered by the information provided on this website:



  • What if I am sick or cannot come in on the day that I’m supposed to volunteer?
    • If you are sick, do not come to the hospital on that day. Please notify Volunteer Program staff, as well as the designated Department Staff contact as soon as possible, either by email ( or phone: 1-415-677-2458.
    • If you know ahead of time that you are going to miss a scheduled volunteer shift, please let the volunteer staff AND your department staff contact know as soon as possible, at least 24 hours in advance.
  • How do I keep track of and receive credit for my volunteer hours?

Volunteers should sign in and sign out when they arrive at and depart from the hospital. A designated binder will be kept at Registration desk, located on the first floor of the main hospital building. The binder is red, labeled 'Chinese Hospital Volunteer Time Log', and stored just behind the counter on the far left side of the Registration desk. Upon completion of your volunteer term of service, you may contact the Volunteer Program at to request a certificate of completion.

  • Can I switch departments or rotate in different departments?

Volunteers are asked to complete a minimum of 3 months in their assigned department. If after that time, individuals would like to volunteer in a different department, they may apply to do so by contacting the Volunteer Program with their request. Rotations may be arranged with prior notice as departments’ availability allows.