Mercy Service Volunteer Program

About the MSV Program

The Mercy Service Volunteer (MSV) program is designed for high school graduates interested in a career in medicine. Participants will experience inpatient care while working alongside our assisting nurses and techs. The MSV program gives people an idea of what it's like to work in a hospital setting. They'll learn necessary skills and knowledge to be successful, such as a good bedside manner and a better understanding of day-to-day hospital operations.

Since students don't have certifications yet, their hands-on experience with patients will be limited, but they'll still be able to do many tasks. Participants in the program will:  

  • Answer call lights or round on patients before they press call lights
  • Assist patients by helping with out-of-reach items
  • Provide companionship for patients
  • Order meals for patients
  • Clear meal trays after patients are finished eating
  • Stock supplies in closets and patient rooms
  • Change linens on beds
  • Turn over patient rooms after discharge before a new admission
  • Provide comfort items to patients
  • Answer and transfer phone calls  
  • Shadow co-workers as they work with patients 

If interested in volunteering, students can fill out a school/work/life volunteer balance schedule form to see where the time to volunteer will fit in their daily lives.

All students must schedule a phone interview before meeting with our manager, Sarah Funiaole, in person. Information regarding student's drug/health screening and background check will be discussed during the interview. Background check results will be sent as a link via email and expire after seven days.

Before scheduling their health screenings with our Co-worker Health department, students must register for ReadySet Secure to complete their online health surveys.

Once the Volunteer & Guest Services office receives clearances for all the above steps, we'll contact students to schedule their orientation.

If students can’t commit to 40 hours total of service, they won't be able to move forward in the program. Strong communication skills are needed when volunteering, especially when students can't make their scheduled shift. Once students start, they'll need to keep a consistent volunteer schedule. They must also clock-in as soon as their shift begins. If students can’t make it to the hospital for their volunteer shift, they must contact our office immediately so we can inform the appropriate leaders. 

Students who don't follow through with onboarding won't be able to volunteer again until the following semester. It costs the hospital time and money to onboard volunteers, so students should be committed to the experience from the beginning. Students who routinely miss shifts will be deactivated within our system

Before starting on patient care units, volunteers train in Mercy Movers, our volunteer transport team, to learn the hospital layout. Volunteers complete patient discharges, where they go to patient rooms with a wheelchair or cart and help patients get from their room to the exit for pick up. Mercy Movers teaches participants where elevators and departments are located and how patient room number sequencing works. This training helps volunteers gain an understanding of the hospital layout and feel more confident getting around.

Mercy Movers training is only available Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a minimum shift commitment of two hours. There's no required number of hours or shifts to be completed in Mercy Movers; the expectation is that volunteers will train in Mercy Movers until they know the hospital layout well and won't get lost when volunteer department staff aren't around.

Once comfortable with the hospital layout, volunteers talk with our manager about their schedule and discuss which department to be placed in. On their first shift in that department, volunteers are paired with a co-worker to help orient them to the unit and complete an orientation checklist. Afterwards, volunteers will continue to work alongside the staff to become a valuable part of the care team. 

Hospitals are open and have patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so volunteers can help on patient care units during various times through the day and week. 

Fill out the school/work/life balance schedule exercise before completing an interest form to see if you have time for volunteering right now. On the document, map out when you have other commitments, including class, work, sports or social activities. This exercise will help you figure out if/when you have free time to volunteer. If you find that you don't currently have the time to commit, we'll be here when you do.