Volunteer opportunities and services

All of our programs essentially revolve around providing the patient with a friendly face. Our aim is to offer comfort and support to patients, and make their time spent in the hospital a more pleasant one. We have many different programs that cater to volunteers with various backgrounds and interests, and you can be assured that our staff will work hard to find the best fit for you. 

The Programs are site specific. If a particular program interests you,  please contact the volunteer office for that site. The sites are Royal Victoria Hospital(RVH), The Montreal Neurological Hospital (MNH), The Montreal Chest Institute (MCI), The Montreal General (MGH)  and The Montreal Children's Hospital (MCH). To learn about programs offered at the Montreal General Hospital, please contact their office directly. 

RVH ProgramsDescription of program
Arts and CraftsVolunteers in these Arts and Crafts program circulate in their assigned units with an ‘Arts and Crafts Cart’, which holds simple craft items, magazines, books, cards, puzzles, and much more. Volunteers spend time with the patients in their assigned unit either with items from the cart, or simply as a friendly visitor. And don’t worry…you don’t need to be crafty! Everything is provided for you on the cart in pre-prepared kits. This program is ideal for first timers since the crafts can be used as an ice breaker.
CanSupportVolunteers in Cansupport work with patients on the Oncology units. They spend time friendly visiting with patients who are admitted to the hospital for treatment, or in for day treatment. They also spend time with family members of patients who also need support and somebody to lend an ear. There are formal activities planned as well, such as beauty sessions, arts and crafts, game and movies nights., and much more. Volunteers also help with the many fundraising efforts made by Cansupport and the Cedar’s Cancer Institute.
Coffee BreakCoffee Break is a program specifically designed to provide support and assistance to patients who are in isolation and not allowed to leave their rooms or units. Volunteers spend time with this group of patients, and will offer to make a trip to the café, cafeteria or pharmacy.
CuddlesThe Cuddles program involves spending time with premature infants who are in need of a little extra care and attention. Volunteers rock, sing and read to infants who are stable enough to be taken out of the incubators. They also spend time with their siblings in the drop-in daycare center that is fully equipped with book, games, and toys to keep them constructively busy while their parents are visiting the newborns. Volunteers also help maintain the family room in the neonatal unit for family members and they answer the phones when required. Please note: there is a waiting list for this program!
Emergency

The Emergency Room program is reserved for our more seasoned volunteers. We ask that volunteers who would like to work in this department have completed at least 50 hours of volunteer work in another volunteer program. On this unit, volunteers spend time friendly visiting with patients in acute, subacute and minor care, help maintain the waiting area, prepare examining rooms for new patients, help with meal trays and various other tasks to support our patients and families.

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Employee DaycareVolunteers interact with small groups of pre-school children and join in their activities (singing, reading stories, building with Lego, painting etc). They also take the children swimming in the summer and skating in the winter.  They work closely with the educators in the daycare. 
Friendly VisitingFriendly Visiting is for volunteers who feel more comfortable and confident in the hospital environment and in new social situations. Volunteers circulate in their assigned unit, and spend time visiting with patients and keeping them company.
Geriatric Day HospitalThe Geriatric Day Hospital is for older adult patients who live at home and who need to come in to the hospital for the day for various therapeutic and medical reasons. The volunteers spend time with the patients in between appointments. They can play games, work on arts and crafts projects, do puzzles, work closely with the physiotherapists, help with meals or sit with patients to have a pleasant conversation.
HemodialysisPatients with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) must undergo hemodialysis multiple times every week to filter their blood of toxins and fluids. Volunteers in our Hemodialysis Unit assist the therapeutic recreation specialist by helping run activities with these patients. This includes friendly visiting, playing bingo, serving refreshments, and generally making sure that patients are comfortable throughout their dialysis treatment.
High Risk PregnancyThe High Risk Pregnancy program is for female volunteers only. In this program, volunteers spend time with high risk pregnancy patients who need to stay in the hospital for weeks or even months at a time. Volunteers visit patients to offer them an opportunity to socialize and an opportunity to sew little stuffed animals for crib mobiles. These friendly visits help patients to pass the time and maintain a sense of purpose.
Humour Program

Volunteer Services has a large collection of televisions and DVDs (all comedies, musicals and light drama) for patients and families to use free of charge. Volunteers in the Humour program visit different units of the hospitals chatting with patients and offering them the opportunity to choose a film to watch for the day. Volunteers are divided in two shifts: the 9 a.m. shift and the 3 p.m. shift. In the morning, they deliver and set up the TVs for patients. In the afternoon, volunteers pick up the equipment, disinfect it and prepare it for the next morning, all the while taking the opportunity to talk with patients and families.

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Information Desks Volunteering at the Information Desk is for our more seasoned volunteers who have knowledge of the Royal Victoria Hospital. Volunteers at various information booths around the hospital help both patients and visitors end up where they need to be. When people come into the hospital they are often disoriented and sometimes upset. The Information Desk volunteers are always a very welcome sight.
Mobile Cart At the Montreal Neurological Hospital, volunteers circulate with a cart selling useful items to patients and families. The cart has toiletries, snacks, magazines and much more to make the patient’s stay more comfortable. It is also a great opportunity to visit and spend time with patients.
MusicThe Music program is for volunteers who play a musical instrument. We have a keyboard if you are a piano player or you can bring in your own instrument if it is portable. Volunteers circulate on different units playing soft and soothing music. Music is truly a universal language and it is very much appreciated by everyone on the units.
PhysiotherapyThis program is ideal for students thinking about a career in physiotherapy. It is mostly an observational program but there are opportunities to interact with patients and to help the professional staff with some simple tasks. Volunteers can choose the out-patient unit at the Royal Victoria Hospital or the in-patient unit at the Montreal Neurological Hospital.
PsychiatryVolunteers in this program work with patients at the Allan Memorial Institute. They volunteer   doing arts and crafts activities playing bingo with patients and organizing special events in the Brief Therapy Unit.
RadiologyVolunteers in this program visit patients in Radiology waiting for diagnostic tests.  They spend their time talking with patients, helping to make them feel more at ease and less anxious. They also help to direct patients and visitors from Radiology to other areas of the hospital.   
Recovery room
(Main Operating Room and Recovery room)
Volunteers in this program spend time visiting with patients before and after surgery. They also spend time with the families in the waiting room. This program is for volunteers who feel comfortable initiating and maintaining sometimes difficult conversations, as patients are still recovering from surgery and families are often anxious and worried.
The RVH, MNH and MGH AuxiliariesAuxiliary volunteers are a group of dedicated men and women who raise funds for the hospitals through various fundraising activities and events such as golf tournaments and dinner dances. The fruits of their labour can be seen in every area of the hospital – new chairs in waiting rooms, fresh paint on the walls, new beds and equipment on the units and so much more…
Student Training and Education Program (STEP)STEP is specifically designed for students who are interested in a career in health care or who simply want to volunteer and learn about working in a hospital. STEP is a great way to meet new people, help your community, learn about hospitals and acquire skills that will assist you in your volunteer work, school and life in general. Students have to be 16 to volunteer.
[More information]
Therapeutic RecreationIn this program, volunteers work with therapeutic recreation specialists to create a more stimulating environment for long-term care patients.  Activities can vary from bingo and arts and crafts to cooking classes, bbq’s  special meals and field trips.
TransplantVolunteers visit with patients who are waiting for or have received an organ transplant. These patients are often in hospital for several weeks and appreciate a visit from a friendly volunteer. It helps them to pass the time. Thinking of other things besides medical issues also helps to alleviate anxiety and worry.

 

MCH ProgramsDescription of program
Clinics

1) Hematology-oncology - Monday to Friday 8:30 /9 am to 11:30 am/12
2) Hemodialysis - Schedule varies
ClericalMonday to Friday 
9am to 5pm
Day surgeryMonday to Friday 
8am-1pm
Emergency waiting roomsMonday to Sunday
9am to 9pm
"Help me find my way in Emergency"Monday to Sunday 
9am to 9pm
Playrooms

Schedule might change. Weekday afternoons.
1:30pm-4:30pm
PhysiotherapyApplies to physiotherapy students only. Weekdays.
9am to 12 noon - 1pm to 4pm 
Project Imagine: ReadAccording to availability 
Days, evenings and weekends
"Wait for me, I'm playing"Main waiting area for the ambulatory services
Monday to Friday
9am to 12 noon - 1pm to 4pm
Wards

18 years old & older. Experience in a health care setting an asset
Monday to Sunday
7am to 8:30pm

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MGH and MNH ProgramsDescription of program
Information Desks Volunteering at the Information Desk is for our more seasoned volunteers who have knowledge of the Royal Victoria Hospital. Volunteers at various information booths around the hospital help both patients and visitors end up where they need to be. When people come into the hospital they are often disoriented and sometimes upset. The Information Desk volunteers are always a very welcome sight.
PhysiotherapyThis program is ideal for students thinking about a career in physiotherapy. It is mostly an observational program but there are opportunities to interact with patients and to help the professional staff with some simple tasks. Volunteers can choose the out-patient unit at the Royal Victoria Hospital or the in-patient unit at the Montreal Neurological Hospital.
The RVH, MNH and MGH AuxiliariesAuxiliary volunteers are a group of dedicated men and women who raise funds for the hospitals through various fundraising activities and events such as golf tournaments and dinner dances. The fruits of their labour can be seen in every area of the hospital – new chairs in waiting rooms, fresh paint on the walls, new beds and equipment on the units and so much more…

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