New Duke Student Volunteer Opportunities

The Duke Student Volunteer Program allows students to volunteer at Duke University Hospital and Duke Children's Hospital with the goal of providing outstanding service to patients and their families. Learn more about the positions available.

Ambulatory Surgery Center (Sophomores and Juniors only)
2400 Pratt St.   
Durham, NC  27705

The Ambulatory Surgery Center needs outgoing individuals who would facilitate communication among patients, staff and families, and be a liaison between staff and patients in our busy waiting room areas. Volunteers will comfortably and confidently interact with patients/visitors, providing updated information on their plan of care, directions to various hospital locations, and be an overall comfort and support to our patients/visitors. 

A volunteer will be comfortable with guiding patients/visitors into the pre-op and post-op areas of the department, respecting the staff involved in the patient's care and the confidentiality of other patients in the area at all times.

Schedule an interview*: Duke Ambulatory Surgery Center

Arts & Health at Duke – Request the Arts   (Sophomores and Juniors only)  
Baker House, Room 295
Durham, NC  27710

Volunteers assemble and deliver craft kits to hospital patients on request. Volunteers may also facilitate a craft project with a patient or teach a patient to knit or crochet on request or as assigned by Arts & Health staff.

Schedule an interview*: Arts & Health – Request the Arts

Arts & Health at Duke – Performing Arts    (Sophomores and Juniors only) Duke University Hospital Campus & Clinics
Duke University Hospital Campus & Clinics

These volunteers are musicians with a specific performance level skill with a musical instrument appropriate to the hospital setting. They will be trained, mentored and supervised by the Performing Artist in Residence. They will be assigned to public spaces within Duke University Hospital and the hospital based clinics to include waiting areas, concourse areas and lobbies. They will be playing for adult and child patient populations, their loved ones and staff in public spaces to ease the stress of a hospital visit or stay and to promote the recognition of the importance of the arts—specifically music—in lowering blood pressure and creating a positive distraction. 

Schedule an interview*: Arts & Health - Performing Arts

Duke Cancer Center Patient Support Program (Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors only)
Duke Cancer Center, 20 Duke Medicine Circle, Durham, NC  27710

  • Docent Volunteer. These volunteers offer hospitality, support, and a caring presence to patients and families visiting the Duke Cancer Center. Docent volunteers escort patients and families to clinics, the café and other areas of the Duke Cancer Center. In addition, Docents educate patients and families about the services available to them from the DCPSP. The Duke Cancer Patient Support Program (DCPSP) believes that quality comprehensive cancer care involves attending to issues beyond the scope of traditional models of medicine. We believe in treating the whole person, not solely the cancer. Further, we believe in treating the whole family, as cancer touches the lives of each member of the family system.
  • Outpatient/Clinic Volunteer. These volunteers offer hospitality, support and a caring presence to patients and families visiting the Duke Cancer Center. While volunteers offer refreshment to patients and families, their primary role is to spend time talking to patients and families, providing a comforting presence, listening to patients and families concerns, and educating families about DCPSP services.
  • Cancer Patient Education Program - Resource Center Volunteer.  Volunteers for this program must be able to devote 4 hours every week to assisting patients and families in the Duke Cancer Center Resource Center.  Volunteers help locate cancer resource materials, research cancer information online, answer questions in person and over the phone,  assemble patient notebooks and other tasks as assigned. This is a very important role for a volunteer to help patients and families navigate through finding information about cancer. Shifts are available Monday - Friday 8 am - 4 pm.

Schedule an interview*: Duke Cancer Patient Support

Child and Adolescent Life Program (Child Life)   (Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors only) 
Duke North – 2301 Erwin Rd, Durham, NC  27710 
5th floor in the Children’s Playroom

Volunteers play and provide a distraction for children and teens that are inpatients in the playroom or at bedside. We are providing a positive experience for the hospitalized patient to help relieve anxiety by playing with games, toys, arts and crafts, puzzles, coloring/painting, and Wii games. Volunteer hours are based around the playroom sessions: Monday-Friday 9:30-11:45 am, Monday-Sunday 1:30-4:15 pm, or Monday-Thursday 6-8:15 pm.
Some Weekend and evening (Mon – Thurs) sessions may be available
Volunteers must attend one or more sessions each week.

Note: Acceptance into this program is dependent on your ability to fill an available session.  Most needed times are weekday mornings and afternoons, with some flexibility around class schedule. 

Schedule an interview*: Child and Adolescent Life

Duke Eye Center ​
2351 Erwin Rd.  Durham, NC  27705

Responsibilities include:

  • Walking patients to their appointment check in desk/directing them, put on a fall risk bracelet.
  • Help patients sign-up for My Chart.
  • Put out magazines and straighten up clinic throughout day (table tops).
  • Extra help with office duties (stuffing envelopes, copying, filing, loose notes in medical records).
  • Walk through clinics see if patients are ok and if they are waiting long, check on their time.
  • Sign out wheelchairs.
  • Collect wheelchairs at end of day and bring to front of building.
  • Carry items to Duke Clinic/Duke North if urgent.  Be eyes for safety hazards or cleaning needs.
  • Assist donors and direct them to BioSight kiosk location. Provide “technical only” assistance to the BioSight Kiosk that has an IPad Pro. Willing donors identified by staff of the Duke Eye Center or Donors who walk-in to the BioSight kiosk can be assisted by the volunteer to update their profile or register in Donate Life NC.

The volunteer will not handle confidential protected health information.  The key responsibility is limited to providing technical assistance on this new technology tool. 

Schedule an interview*: Duke Eye Center

Duke Patient Concierge Program - Duke Ambassadors 
Various information desks at Duke Clinic, Cancer Center, Duke Medicine Pavilion & Duke North

Volunteers may assist the efforts of the Duke Patient Concierge Program at Duke Hospital by serving as a Duke Ambassador Volunteer. This program allows our volunteers an unprecedented opportunity to work with our professional Patient Concierge staff, learning how to offer the highest level of service to patients and families.

Volunteers may personally guide and direct patients to appointments, provide important information, directions and wayfinding to patients and families, help patients and families locate resources or direct them to the appropriate source if they have a problem or question. Volunteers are expected to offer a very high level of customer service, serving as an extension of the professional team.  Volunteers serve as a very important point person for patients and families who visit the hospital. Excellent communication and customer service skills are required.

Schedule an interview*: Duke Patient Concierge Program

Emergency Department (Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors only)
Duke North, 2301 Erwin Road, Durham, NC 27710

A minimum of 4 hours per week is required.

The Emergency Department ambassador serves as a patient-family liaison for the Duke University Hospital Emergency Department.  The ambassador will join our experienced care team to ensure each patient has a positive experience while receiving care in the department.  You will have the opportunity to impact the patient experience by ensuring each patient receives timely information regarding delays and processes while providing comfort to patients and visitors.   You will have the opportunity to talk with patients who have received discouraging news and families whose loved one has had a lifesaving intervention.  Weekly attendance is required. The Emergency Department requires an ambassador who can handle the sights, sounds and smells of the department while being professional and ensuring confidentiality for each patient.  You should have excellent verbal skills, be self-motivated, confident, and able to work with minimal supervision.  You should be able to work in a fast-paced environment with changing scenarios and patient needs.  

Schedule an interview*: Emergency Department

Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Waiting Area (Sophomores,  Juniors and Seniors only)
Duke Medicine Pavilion, 10 Duke Medicine Circle, Durham, NC  27710

One 3 hour shift per week.

Volunteers in the busy ICU Waiting Area interact with the families and visitors in the Intensive Care Waiting Rooms. The volunteer acts as a liaison between visitors, patients and staff. The volunteer must have a great capacity for compassionate listening and be comfortable with a diverse patient/visitor population in stressful situations. Volunteers convey non-medical information to families and also assist with any non-medical needs of families in the waiting areas. 

Schedule an interview*: Intensive Care Unit (Duke Medicine Pavilion)

International Patient Services  (Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors only)
120 Baker House, Duke Clinic, Brown Zone

Volunteers in International Patient Services do not serve as interpreters, but are exposed to the world of medical interpreting. Volunteers will assist in the office with clerical tasks and occasionally accompany interpreters into the medical setting within Duke Hospital. They will learn about bridging the communication gap between patient and health care provider. Advanced language skills are a must, but volunteers are not able to serve as an interpreter unless they have documented experience in this professional field and have successfully passed our language competency examination required for communicating with our patients.

Schedule an interview*: International Patient Services

Lenox Baker Children’s Hospital (Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors only)
3000 Erwin Road
Durham, NC  27705

Volunteers in this program tutor and play with children in Lenox Baker Children’s Hospital and Valvano Day Hospital. Volunteers may also assist children with crafts, reading, and playing games in the waiting areas. Volunteers may take patients back for appointments and manage patient flow in the busy waiting areas by informing patients and families of wait times.

Schedule an interview*: Lenox Baker Children’s Hospital

Surgical Waiting Rooms
Duke Medicine Pavilion, Duke Hospital, Children’s Health Center and Eye Center
4 hour shifts per week     
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm in some waiting rooms.


  • Eye Center – 3rd Floor, Wadsworth Building Surgical Waiting room
  • Duke Medicine Pavilion – 3rd Floor waiting room
  • Duke North Hospital – 3rd Floor waiting room
  • PAT Clinic 2D – Duke Clinic, 2nd Floor waiting room
  • PEDS - Children’s Health Center, 3rd Floor Surgical Waiting room

Duke North, Duke Medicine Pavilion and the Children’s Health Center Surgical Waiting Rooms need outgoing individuals who would facilitate communication among patients, staff and families, and be a liaison between staff and patients in our busy waiting room areas. Volunteers will comfortably and confidently interact with patients/visitors, providing updated information on their plan of care, directions to various hospital locations, and be an overall comfort and support to our patients/visitors. 

A volunteer will be comfortable with guiding patients/visitors into the pre-op and post-op areas of the department, respecting the staff involved in the patient's care and the confidentiality of other patients in the area at all times.

Note: Volunteers with more than 2 absences per semester will be dismissed from the program.

Schedule an interview*: Surgical Waiting Rooms

Duke North OR Administrative Volunteer
Duke North, 2301 Erwin Rd, Durham, NC  27710 

This volunteer will assist in the support of a diverse staff of over 300 nurses, surgical techs and support staff. Must be willing to work independently on projects like spreadsheets, flyers, updating public screens, delivering items to other departments, restocking staff lounges and other similar tasks. Position requires wearing scrubs or a cover paper jumpsuit each day.

Must be able to commit a minimum of 4 hours per week between the hours of 6 am and 4 pm.

Please note: Volunteers at Duke University Hospital are not authorized clinical or shadowing opportunities as part of this experience. 

Schedule an interview*: Duke North OR Administrative Volunteer

Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program – PBMT (Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors only)
Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit – 5200
Duke University Hospital
2301 Erwin Rd, Durham, NC 27710

​PBMT volunteers work on the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit, which is a 16 bed, critical care, isolation unit. The volunteers will support the families and patient by engaging in play and socialization, as well as serving as a general unit resource.

3-4 hours per week.

Two shifts will be available per day. 7 days a week.  [1:00-4:00 pm] [5:00-8:00 pm].

Duties and responsibilities:

  • Engage patient in play at the bedside or in the connection playroom.
  • Interact with all patients including those on both contact and droplet isolation.
  • Decorate unit. Including theme weeks, birthdays, and patient door decorations.
  • Walk laps with patients in the hallway (push in cars, pull in wagons).
  • Push wheelchair with patient ONLY on PBMT unit (cannot go off unit) and ONLY if received proper wheelchair training.
  • Sit with patient and sibling in the patient’s room while caregiver leaves the room but not the unit.
  • Provide respite to PBMT caregivers. Parents can leave the unit if they have volunteer coverage and their medical team is notified.
  • Properly clean the playroom and used toys.
  • Maintain caregiver space including kitchen and laundry.
  • Support community meals through setup and clean up.
  • Help activities run with guidance of Patient Engagement Coordinator.
  • Monitor and refill forgotten basket as needed.

Schedule an interview*: Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program

Duke SPLASH - Brodie Gym/Aquatics Center
20 Brodie Gym Drive
Durham, NC

Would you like to make a lasting difference in the life of a patient at Duke Children’s Hospital?   Then consider volunteering for the Duke SPLASH. Many studies have shown the positive effects that exercise, swimming in particular, has on recovering patients, especially kids.  Swimming helps patients manage pain, increase energy and maintain general well‐being.

Our program provides based swimming lessons to patients and their siblings from Duke Children’s, but more importantly, we have the opportunity to boost their morale during a difficult time for them and their families.

Volunteer Commitment:

  •  2 consecutive semesters
  •  2 hours per week
  •  1 hour per month (volunteers meeting)
  •  1 additional hour per semester for Volunteer Team Meeting

Volunteer Qualifications:

  • Undergraduate or Graduate student at Duke University
  • Experience in the Swimming Lesson Environment
  • Experience in competitive swimming a plus

Training Requirements:

  • Duke University Hospital Volunteer Orientation
  • Instructors must be trained in CPR/AED/First Aid
  • Instructors must take and pass the basic swimming lesson course offered by Swim School University

Schedule an interview*: SPLASH

Scheduling interviews

*Note: The interview schedules open August 1, 2017.

Learn more about the guidelines for becoming a volunteer and for scheduling your interview.