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Frequently Asked Questions

The following questions are often asked by prospective Alberta Health Services volunteers in general and prospective Alberta Children's Hospital volunteers in particular.

For additional information on volunteering at Alberta Children's Hospital, go to How to Become a Volunteer.

Q: I am thinking of volunteering for Alberta Health Services. What should I consider?

A: Volunteering for Alberta Health Services involves more than just stepping forward. The Volunteer Resource department takes a professional approach in matching volunteers to positions to ensure a positive experience for all concerned. Your volunteer role should complement you personality, your life experiences, skills and availability. To help us find the right fit, take the time to look at yourself, know your accomplishments, talents, values, interests, what you would like to offer and what you expect to gain?

Q: What information am I required to provide to the Volunteer Resources Department?

A: All applicants will be asked to successfully complete a Criminal Records Check.

Volunteer Applicants are also asked to provide two references.

Q: Will I be volunteering alone or with other volunteers?

A: Volunteer programs range from individual placements to group placements. This is dependent on the program and the facility. Please review your preferences with Volunteer Resources.

Q: I have received professional training in the health field. May I practice that as a volunteer?

A: During your pre-placement interview, make sure that your Volunteer Resources Department knows of your training and your interests so you can be placed in a position that is suitable to you. Volunteers will carry out tasks within the scope of a program description and may not perform any restricted duties or other professional tasks outside of that program scope.

Q: What if something happens (e.g. long term illness, unexpected move) and I can no longer honour my volunteer commitment?

A: While we encourage volunteers to honour their commitment, we realize that sometimes it is simply impossible to do so. If this happens, please speak to the Volunteer Resources Department.

Q: What are the benefits of volunteering?

A: As a volunteer you will

  • expand horizons and explore career options;
  • create balance in your life;
  • gain valuable, practical experience;
  • be involved in your community in a rewarding way;
  • develop new skills while retaining and sharpening old skills;
  • develop leadership potential;
  • have networking opportunities.

Q: What can I expect from the Volunteer Resources Department?

A: We commit to offering you a volunteer position that is well managed and that ensures volunteers work in a supportive environment.

  • We offer every volunteer a thorough orientation and training.
  • We provide you with a detailed volunteer position description that clearly outlines your volunteer role.
  • We recognize you for your contributions and accomplishments in both formal and informal ways.

Q: What does the Volunteer Resources Department expect of me?

A: As a volunteer with Alberta Health Services we expect you to

  • participate in orientation, training and any ongoing development opportunities;
  • work within the boundaries of your volunteer position description;
  • act as an ambassador and take ownership for actions and decisions made while volunteering;
  • let us know if you have any questions or concerns;
  • approach your volunteer position as a professional commitment.

Q: How do I let Alberta Health Services know that I am interested in becoming a volunteer?

A: The first step is to contact the Volunteer Resources Department at the facility where you would like to volunteer. Contact information is listed on the Alberta Health Services' website.

Q: How do I become a volunteer at the Alberta Children’s Hospital?

A: The first step to becoming a volunteer is to apply online. Thanks to the tremendous interest in volunteering at the hospital, we are not always in a position to accept new volunteers.

Q: How old do you have to be to volunteer?

A: In order to volunteer, you must be at least 18 years of age.

Q: How long are the volunteer shifts?

A: Volunteer shifts are generally 3 to 4 hours.

Q: How often am I expected to volunteer?

A: Most programs require volunteers to come in at the same time every week for a regular shift. Some programs have more flexible times. Volunteer shifts are generally daytime hours, during the week, and typically, a shift is 3-to-4 hours long. We require a minimum commitment of one year.

Q: How long am I expected to volunteer?

A: We require a commitment of one year.

Q: How long does the process to become a volunteer normally take?

A: Approximately 4 weeks. The process entails attending an interview, completing communicable disease screening, and criminal records check, and attending a General Orientation Session.

Q: Why is the process so lengthy?

A: Our hospital provides services to vulnerable clients, so we have a moral, ethical and legal obligation to protect individuals in our care. And we want to ensure that you are fully prepared to take on the duties of your volunteer position.

Q: If my school timetable changes from term to term, is there flexibility in changing my volunteer placement?

A: Yes, there may be flexibility in changing your volunteer placement depending on availability in other areas. Volunteers are asked to fulfill the commitment in their initial placement area of one year. Once that commitment is fulfilled, another placement may be arranged.

Q: Do I have to stay in the same volunteer placement?

A: Volunteers are asked to fulfill the commitment in their initial placement area of one year. Once that commitment is fulfilled, another placement may be arranged.