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NIH Clinical Center
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Opportunities for Volunteers

At the Clinical Center, we use the term "volunteer" in two distinct ways. You can 1) volunteer by participating in clinical trials (if interested in becoming a participant, you can email or call the Patient Recruitment Office at 1-800-411-1222); OR 2) you can volunteer by helping out at the hospital (email or call the Volunteer Office at 301-496-1807).


Volunteer by Participating in Clinical Trials

For more information about participating as a healthy volunteer, see Program for Healthy Volunteers. For information on participating as a patient, see Clinical Trials: Are They For You? and Search the Studies.

Volunteer by Helping Out at the Hospital

    Adult Volunteers. Volunteer opportunities are available to adults interested in assisting health-care specialists one or more days a week for a six-month to one-year commitment. Opportunities are also open to persons able to provide a concentrated block of time over a shorter period of commitment. Volunteer positions for retirees may be available, so inquire about our flexible volunteer schedules.
    Student Volunteers. Qualified students who are enrolled in high school or college may also volunteer. Students who are interested in developing health-science skills during the school year or summer vacation can earn credit towards their degree while volunteering at the Clinical Center. The "Buddy Program" offers opportunities for students 16-18 years of age to assist young adults with their Adjustment while a patient in the Clinical Center.
    Volunteer Interpreters. The Volunteer Language Interpreter Program assists patients who don't speak English. Spanish interpreters volunteer daily. Other language specialists are called as needed. The Volunteer Program encourages anyone with language skills to apply to be a language interpreter. Training is provided.
    The Family Friend Program welcomes volunteer participants to help young patients enjoy play time while offering parents a respite from their often-demanding hospital routine. This program accepts a limited number of volunteers.
    Orientation, Training, & Responsibilities for Hospital Volunteers. Volunteers receive an orientation when accepted for a volunteer position. In addition, each department or section where the volunteer is placed is responsible for the hands-on training. Volunteers are required to obtain a health screening, which includes a tuberculosis test.
    The volunteer is held to these same standards as a paid worker. To be an effective volunteer and to obtain maximum satisfaction from the experience requires a sincere interest in the work, which means acceptance of supervision, adherence to hospital policies, and a respect for confidentiality. Because volunteers are so important to our patients, they are expected to make a firm commitment on specific services for a specific number of hours and times.

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