Overview

Volunteers: An Important Part of the Cancer Care Team

Volunteers: An Important Part of the Cancer Care Team

Volunteers are important members of the Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) team. These caring people support HCI in many ways:

  • Offering comfort to patients and their families in clinic waiting areas and hospital rooms
  • Working with HCI services such as the G. Mitchell Morris Cancer Learning Center
  • Assisting with laboratory research and clinical trials
  • Making in-kind donations to help patients
  • Helping at fundraising and special events

Benefits

The greatest benefit comes from helping others. You can also gain valuable experience working alongside some of the world's best cancer professionals.

HCI offers our volunteers these other benefits:

  • Meal voucher for each 3- or 4-hour shift worked
  • Free volunteer uniform shirt and name badge
  • Free annual flu shot
  • Invitation to the annual volunteer social

Requirements

Volunteers must be reliable, committed to service, and available on a regular basis. Volunteers must be at least 16 years old.

We encourage people who have had cancer and their family members to apply. People who have had cancer must be out of treatment for at least one year before they or their family members can volunteer.

Except for some fundraising and event help positions, all potential volunteers must complete an application form and provide two letters of reference.

Here are the other requirements:

  • Interview with the volunteer coordinator
  • Work at least one 3- or 4-hour shift each week for 6 months or more
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Get an annual flu shot, provided free by HCI
  • Be current on immunizations
  • Sign a confidentiality agreement
  • Complete online training about patient privacy policies, hospital safety, and infection control guidelines

Opportunities

We have many volunteer opportunities, from serving in research or hospital areas to giving in-kind donations.

In-Person Research Volunteer

Clinical Trials Office

  • Specimen processing: Work with the team to track and organize lab kits, patient specimen records, and lab materials. Carry materials between research and clinic labs.
  • Administrative: General office duties such as compiling and updating spreadsheets.
  • Research data: Work with a team to collect and file electronic medical, pathology, and specimen records.

Lobby Information Desk: Greet and assist visitors while sitting at the lobby information desk. This includes giving directions and answering general questions. 

Population Sciences Administrative Office: Have general office duties, including filing medical records and data entry. Some knowledge of medical terminology is helpful. 

In-Person Cancer Hospital Volunteer

Cancer Hospital Patient & Family Advisory Council: Provide feedback about your experience as a patient or family member of a patient to help us continually improve patient care. Work with care providers and other council volunteers to develop plans and review materials. Read more in the Patient & Family Advisory Council brochure

Comfort Care: Provide drinks, snacks, and comfort items to patients in the cancer hospital, in the Infusion Center, or in clinic waiting rooms. 

Community Outreach Internship: Help put together books and information for patients in the Cancer Learning Center. Help with community outreach and other special projects. Learn more about Community Outreach

Infusion Center: Offer drinks, snacks, DVDs, blankets, and pillows to patients receiving chemotherapy treatments. Stock supply carts and kitchen areas.

Inpatient Assistant: Help inpatient staff by providing comfort care to patients and their families. Orient new patients and their families to inpatient rooms and provide information about hospital services. Help inpatient staff as they assist patients with meeting recommended daily goals. Stock unit supply areas and patient rooms. 

Junior Volunteers: People ages 16-18 provide patients who are waiting for appointments with books, magazines, and games. Assist with projects in the volunteer workroom. 

Outpatient Clinic Assistant: Help staff with clinic needs, including registering and escorting patients.

Patient & Family Housing Front Desk: Perform hotel front desk duties with guidance from staff. Help with guest activities such as baking cookies. Learn more about Patient & Family Housing.

Rehabilitation Therapy Services: Call patients for appointment reminders, help with cleaning, and do other office duties. Help with some gym tasks for patients in the cancer hospital. This is a great learning opportunity for volunteers with career interests in speech, physical, lymphedema, or occupational therapy. Learn more about Rehabilitation Therapy Services

Surgery Waiting Room: Share the status of patients in surgery and give other helpful information to families in the waiting room. 

Wellness & Integrative Health Center: Help staff of the Linda B. and Robert B. Wiggins Wellness & Integrative Health Center with customer service and administrative duties.

IN-KIND DONATIONS

Activity Books: Crossword, Sudoku, and word find activity books are great ways for patients to relax and pass the time. Patients also like coloring books for adults, along with colored pencils. 

Blankets: Make "graduation" quilts or blankets (4’ x 5’ or 5’ x 6’) for patients after their last chemotherapy or radiation treatment. Quilts may be sewn, tied, or made from fleece with simple cut and tied edges. We cannot accept used blankets. View Fleece Blanket Pattern 1 or Fleece Blanket Pattern 2

Books and Magazines: We accept current magazines (no more than 6 months old), and new or used books in English or Spanish for the clinic waiting rooms. We also accept books on CD for patients staying in the hospital.

Cleaning Supplies: Put together cleaning supply totes for Patient & Family Housing. We are in need of 100 totes at this time.

  • Tote
  • Disinfecting cleaning wipes
  • Furniture spray
  • Glass cleaner
  • Microfiber cloth (2)
  • Soft Scrub bathroom cleanser
  • Toilet bowl cleaner

Comfort Packets and Activity Bags: Put together an assortment of personal essentials and comfort items for patients who have to stay in the hospital for an extended amount of time. These small totes or bags can include any of the following. All items must be new. 

  • 3” x 5” pocket memo pads or journal notebooks
  • Chewing gum
  • Coloring books for adults
  • Crossword, Sudoku, and word find activity books
  • Lip balm
  • Medium-sized cellophane bags
  • Pens, pencils, colored pencils, small pencil sharpeners
  • Playing cards
  • Travel-size hand lotion
  • Travel-size hand sanitizer bottles
  • Travel-size tissue packets

We are also glad to accept new individual items for the list above.

Hats: Make or buy warm knit hats for the winter and brimmed hats and caps for summer. Hats should be made of soft fabric that will not irritate sensitive skin. We cannot accept used hats. View the Antelope Hat Pattern, Head Hugger Chemo Cap PatternRing of Cables Hat Pattern, or Rolled-Brim Knit Beanie Pattern

Jigsaw Puzzles for Adults: Donate jigsaw puzzles for the clinic waiting rooms.

Journals: Decorate the covers of composition books with scrapbook paper and inspirational quotes, words, or sayings for patients. If you like, add a fun pencil or pen.

Pantry Items: Donate the following food items to the Patient & Family Housing pantry.

  • Applesauce
  • Bread
  • Canned soups, chili, stew
  • Canned tuna and chicken
  • Chips
  • Crackers
  • Breakfast bars
  • Fruit cups
  • Granola bars
  • Jelly/jam
  • Microwavable macaroni and cheese
  • Microwavable prepared meals
  • Peanut butter
  • Pop-Tarts

Medical Pouches (JP Bags): A medical pouch holds a patient’s JP drain and tubes next to the body to keep them from rubbing and irritating the skin. View a medical pouch pattern.

Movies: We accept new and used DVDs in English and Spanish for patients staying in the hospital.

Neck Pillows: Make or buy neck pillows for patients. View a neck pillow pattern.

Rice Bags/Warmers: Make or buy rice bags/warmers for patients. View a rice bag/warmer pattern.

Scarves: Make or buy head scarves of soft fabric that won't irritate sensitive skin. We cannot accept used scarves. View a triangle scarf pattern, reversible tie hat pattern, or chemo scarf pattern

Sleep Masks: Make eye masks for patients to help with comfortable sleep or resting. Masks must be made with entirely new materials. View a sleep mask pattern

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you look for in a volunteer?

Huntsman Cancer Institute seeks caring, dependable, and committed people who can be flexible about their assignment. We will match your skills and interests with one of our many service opportunities.

What is the minimum age to volunteer?

Volunteers must be at least 16 years old.

How much time must I give?

Many volunteer positions require a commitment of at least one 3- or 4-hour shift each week for a minimum of 6 months.

Do I need a physical exam before working as a volunteer?

No physical exam is required. Your immunizations must be current and you must have an annual flu shot. Huntsman Cancer Institute provides flu shots to volunteers for free.

What if I am sick or go on vacation?

We ask that you notify Volunteer Services and your placement area if you must miss a shift.

Where will I park my car?

HCI provides free parking for volunteers.

How to Apply

Want to volunteer with us? Here is what you need to do to apply:

  1. Complete and submit the application form (see below), along with two letters of reference, either by mail to the address below or by email to volunteerservices@hci.utah.edu
  2. Have an interview. 
  3. Attend an orientation meeting. This includes topics about patient confidentiality as well as health and safety issues. You will also get training specific to your assignment.
  4. Sign a confidentiality agreement.
  5. Pass a criminal background check.
  6. Meet certain health requirements, including being up to date on all immunizations.
  7. Get an annual flu shot.

Junior Volunteer Application Form (16-17 years old)

Adult Volunteer Application Form (18+ years old)

Contact Us

Volunteer Services
Huntsman Cancer Institute Hospital
1950 Circle of Hope, Room 1110
Salt Lake City, UT 84112

801-587-4050 (Office)
801-581-2603 (Fax)
Email: volunteerservices@hci.utah.edu