Charlottesville Summer Junior Volunteer Program: FAQs

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This information is for junior volunteers who wish to participate in the program. Please review with a parent or guardian and make certain you will be able to adhere to all of the requirements and deadlines. Participating in the program is a big summer commitment.

Is there a mandatory training?

Mandatory orientation (all day) for everyone is on the first Monday of the program. If you can't attend this day, you are ineligible for the program.

What is the time commitment?

The JV Program runs for eight weeks, beginning on a Monday in June and ending on a Friday in August. Check website for specific dates. Juniors can choose to volunteer either one or two full days each week and must work the same day(s) each week.

Volunteers must be available for at least 6 weeks of the 8-week program. Weeks do not need to be consecutive. You must notify the program coordinator of vacation time before the start of the program.

There is no volunteering on Juneteenth or Independence Day.

What about vacation or camp?

Juniors are allowed a maximum of two weeks absence from the 8-week program. Parents are asked to support their child’s commitment to the program by scheduling vacations or planned absences so that they don’t conflict with volunteering. Keep in mind the dates of any fall school obligations like driver's education courses, sport camps, or tryout requirements, especially in August.

Do I get to pick my assignments?

Juniors returning from previous summers of service are given priority scheduling. Schedules are assigned by the junior volunteer program coordinator and will be mailed to juniors in late May. Juniors may request particular activities on their application and every effort will be made to honor your wishes. However, it is nearly impossible to assign everyone in such a large group exactly what they want. Many factors are considered when assigning schedules, including volunteer availability, experience, and suitability to a particular activity as determined by the program coordinator.

There will be opportunities to work extra days and learn other activities by filling in for students who are on vacation. See the volunteer coordinator for details.

What will I be doing as a junior volunteer?

There are many roles for juniors. Some involve lots of contact with patients and visitors, such as wayfinding or gift shop cashier. Some provide opportunities to work alongside healthcare professionals, such as surgical supply or reception and administrative support at a nurse’s station. There are lots of jobs assisting staff working on computers, running errands, and in a variety of busy offices all over the Medical Center.

Juniors work a 3-4 hour morning shift, break for lunch, and then work a different 3-4 hour afternoon shift. Juniors will be assigned to the same role on the same day for the entire program. Juniors will receive a lunch voucher worth up to $6 for use in the hospital cafeteria on the day(s) they volunteer to help reduce the cost of lunch. This perk is a generous contribution by the UVA Hospital Auxiliary.

It is also important to understand what junior volunteers won't be doing.

Volunteers are not permitted to provide medical care of any kind. They will not be allowed to read patient medical records, nor be present during medical procedures or conversations between patients and their healthcare providers. Volunteers do not work with hazardous materials or have contact with body fluids of any kind, and they do not enter rooms of patients on isolation for contagious illnesses.

Do I have to get any shots?

All volunteers must undergo screenings before volunteering at UVA Health. If you do not have documentation of vaccines or lab results, these may be provided free of charge. You may not decline or be exempt from the required vaccines.

  • Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine (x 2) or laboratory confirmation of immunity (titer)
  • Varicella vaccine (x 2) or laboratory confirmation of immunity (titer)
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine after age 11
  • Influenza (flu) vaccine (in flu season)
  • Tuberculosis (TB) screening – Quantiferon Gold blood test within the last 12 months or a test will be taken; in case of previous reactive TB skin or blood test, documentation of the reactive test and a chest X-ray within 6 months.
  • Primary COVID-19 vaccination (recommended, not required)

What is the mandatory orientation session?

All juniors must attend the mandatory orientation session on the first Monday of the program. Arrive between 8-8:15 a.m. Lunch will be provided. This is also the first day of the 8-week program. You'll learn about the mission and values of the organization, fire safety, infection control practices, personal safety, how to protect patient privacy and other policies of the Medical Center. We will discuss customer service, expectations for performance and demeanor and provide a tour of the Medical Center. This is one of only two days when the entire program is together at once. This is an all-day event. After orientation, volunteers will be taught how to perform their assigned role by designated staff and/or experienced volunteers.

What do junior volunteers wear?

All junior volunteers are required to wear a uniform and hospital ID badge while on duty. Uniform shirts (solid red, 100% cotton, unisex polo-style shirts) must be purchased from Volunteer Services. In addition to the shirt that must be tucked in, volunteers must wear either khaki or white pants, or a khaki or white skirt if it falls to at least the knee, and comfortable shoes that cover the toes and heel. Sneakers are suggested. No shorts (no matter how long), sandals, sweat pants, mini skirts, pedal pushers, or spandex pants. Appearance is an important part of the role.

Abundant jewelry, acrylic nails, and piercings (besides earrings) are not appropriate. Hair should be neat, and kept away from the face. Cologne or perfume is not permitted.

How are volunteers evaluated?

Juniors are welcome to review their evaluations with the program coordinator. The program coordinator will be happy to provide letters of recommendation for jobs, college applications, etc. for those who successfully complete the program, at any time, upon request.

Are there any awards and scholarships?

In appreciation of your service, junior volunteers and their families will be invited to an end of the program celebration in your honor on the last day of the program. All volunteers who successfully complete the program will receive a memento of achievement. Additional awards for cumulative hours of service will be presented as follows:

  • 50 hours of service: junior volunteer pin
  • 100-hours of service: gold star pin
  • Each 100 hour mark afterwards: additional gold star pin
  • 500 hours or more: a special gift of appreciation

The Junior Volunteer Program is co-sponsored by the Department of Volunteer Services and the UVA Hospital Auxiliary. Each year, the Auxiliary offers The Pat & Frank Dawson Scholarship to a former Junior Volunteer who has been accepted into a post-high school clinical health care training program. Applications are available online in January.

UVA Junior Volunteer pushing a wheelchair at the hospital

Who can I call if I still have questions?

Maureen Oswald, Junior Volunteer Program Coordinator, can answer your questions.


Call 434.924.5251

Examples of Junior Volunteer Summer Site Assignments

The following jobs offer a lot of contact with patients and visitors. Students who are outgoing, friendly, mature, and comfortable around sick people and diverse groups of people are particularly suited for these jobs. You will be introducing yourself to people you don't know and providing superlative customer service.

Waiting Room Hospitality: Organize waiting rooms in UVA Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center and distribute free magazines, books, puzzles to patients in the clinic waiting rooms. Assist in stocking the hospitality cart & serve beverages/snacks to patients in each of the waiting rooms. Work in teams of 2.

Infusion Center Hospitality: Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center: Offer companionship and refreshments to patients who are receiving chemotherapy, run errands for staff or patients & stock supplies. Good for students who are outgoing, like to talk to patients and listen. Work alongside community volunteers.

Flourish: A Positive Image Boutique at Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center. Learn retail skills with compassion. Females only.

Escort & Wayfinding*: Our finest customer service offering! Great opportunity to be the smiling, friendly face of UVA Health! Assist patients/guests upon arrival and escort them to their first destination. You will be oriented to the hospital areas you are escorting our guests to. Wheelchair training is necessary and provided. Possible evening hours too.

Gift Shop*: Work at the cash register alongside community volunteers, price items, assist shoppers, blow up balloons, help staff keep the store clean and organized. Afternoon shift ends at 5 p.m. There may be evening shifts available from 5-8 p.m.

Administrative Work to Support Medical Center Staff & Departments

These jobs provide opportunities to help out “behind-the-scenes” of a busy Medical Center. Many offer contact with health care professionals. Students with good attention to detail, and who have excellent organizational skills are well suited for these jobs. Many of them involve the use of computers, copiers or other office equipment.

Administrative Support (inpatient areas): Assist staff with reception, answering the phone, stocking, visiting patients, running errands, assembling charts and perhaps computer data entry.

Administrative Assistance: Assist staff with general office duties such as sorting, filing, mailings, errands, assembling charts, etc. (perhaps computer data entry). These assignments are in a variety of departments throughout the Medical Center.

Surgical Supply: Requires a mature, conscientious individual who is comfortable around patients who are unconscious. In Surgical Supply, you must wear “scrubs” (provided). Duties consist of stocking supplies, putting bedding on clean stretchers, running errands for staff, and clerical duties. Volunteers are not permitted inside the actual operating rooms when surgery is taking place.


Every effort will be made to design your schedule around your requests, but it is almost impossible to accomplish this for everyone in such a large group. Juniors returning from previous summers are given first priority. Also, many factors are considered when assigning schedules, including your days of availability, the needs of the Medical Center, and your suitability to a particular area as determined by the Volunteer Coordinator.

Your flexibility and willingness to try assignments not previously considered will be greatly appreciated. There may be additional assignments by the time summer rolls around. This is what we know is available right now.

During the 8-week program, a list of vacancies in some of the above assignments will be posted. Anyone can sign up for these extra shifts to gain extra hours and experience in other areas. Most substituting will require training in that area.