Volunteering: Frequently Asked Questions

Volunteer info desk

What is the minimum and maximum age to volunteer?

  • Volunteers must be at least 16 years of age to volunteer. There is no set “retirement” age so long as the volunteer is physically and mentally able to continue.

How will I know you have received my application?

  • When you apply online, you will receive an automated reply email confirming our receipt of your application and detailing next steps. Our online volunteer software will not allow you to submit your application unless you have included all of the required information. If you have submitted your application and did not receive the automated reply, check your spam or junk boxes. If you cannot locate the missing email, do not hesitate to contact volunteer resources at extension 4872.

How long does it take before I can start volunteering? 

  • The length of time it takes to collect all of the information and complete hospital orientation can vary greatly. It will take a couple of weeks to organize a meeting to discuss your application and we have found a volunteer role that is a good fit for your skills and interests; then it will take additional time to complete the required police check and immunization information. Once all of the medical information and the police check have been completed, a hospital orientation date will be set as well as an appointment to complete final onboarding items such as collecting a volunteer badge, volunteer vest and have a tour of the facility. The entire process can take a couple of weeks or several months depending on the time to complete all of the different elements.

How often are the volunteer shifts? 

  • Typically, most volunteers commit to either a weekly or biweekly schedule.  It depends on the available time of the volunteer combined with the length of the shift. Most programs have a standard (3) to (4) hour shift; however, there are quite a few custom shifts for programs such as Meal Connections or the Patient Information Booklets that are two (2) hours or less.  The minimum commitment is 8 hours per month.

What days of the week can I volunteer? 

  • The hospital operates seven days a week, 24 hours a day.  Most volunteer shifts are scheduled Monday to Friday between the hours of 8am and 4pm. However, there are some programs that operate afterhours and on weekends such as the Emergency Waiting Room Information Desk which operates (3) shifts per day, Monday through Saturday (8am to 12pm, 12pm to 4pm, and then 4pm to 8pm).

What if I don’t have a regular schedule?  

  • The goal of the hospital is to have most programs operate within a monthly master schedule (such as working every 1st and 3rd Monday morning); however, this is not always possible depending on the program.  If this is your situation, we can discuss possible options during the volunteer meeting.

Can I volunteer more than once per week? 

  • We recommend that you begin with a maximum of one (1) shift per week until you are comfortable in your position and with the hospital overall. Volunteer Resources will be happy to discuss additional shifts with you once you are comfortable. 

Can I volunteer if I go away for the winter or summer? 

  • Snowbirds and Summer Cottagers are welcome! We appreciate that people have busy lives and we do our best to accommodate breaks in volunteer services. For any breaks that are longer than a month, the volunteer must provide an estimated return date and they are put on a temporary leave of absence.  We will attempt to find a temporary replacement for the shift during the volunteer’s break; however, we cannot guarantee a volunteer will return to the same schedule of shifts when they return if they are gone for an extended period of time.

Can I take short-term holidays? 

  • Definitely!  Vacation time is to be expected. If the vacation is planned in advance, volunteers are asked to work with their colleagues to self-replace their master shifts whenever possible. If the vacation is unplanned, you are asked to notify the Volunteer Leader of your program to let them know of your absence.

Can I choose where I will volunteer? 

  • We will discuss your interests and experiences and whenever possible we will place you in a desired program, as long as your availability and suitability match an available position in the hospital.

Will the hospital provide a reference for the volunteer work that I complete? 

  • Yes, Cornwall Community Hospital will confirm the work experience you volunteer at the hospital once you have completed a minimum placement of 50 hours.

Do I need to pay for parking when I volunteer? 

  • Volunteers are entitled to complementary parking during their shifts. When you volunteer, detailed information on how to access your complementary parking will be provided.

Is there a Volunteer Uniform? 

  • Volunteers will be provided with a volunteer uniform (vest) to wear while on duty. Volunteers who do not complete their first year commitment of 96 hours are expected to return the vest to the hospital.

Does Volunteering lead to employment at Cornwall Community Hospital? 

  • Volunteering may provide you with experience or exposure that will later assist you to find employment at Cornwall Community Hospital or another healthcare facility. However, Volunteer Resources is not involved with the hospital’s hiring process. Volunteers are welcome to apply through the hospital’s normal Human Resource Processes and are considered external applicants.

Does CCH have an education program? 

  • Volunteer Resources at CCH coordinates a high school cooperative education program with local schools and specific hospital departments.  Contact your school’s guidance counsellor for more information. Volunteer Resources also coordinates non-clinical post-secondary placements and internships. Contact your school’s placement officer for more information.

I am a Clinical Student in a Post-Secondary Educational. Can I complete my clinical placement at Cornwall Community Hospital (such as a student nurse)? 

  • While CCH participates with numerous clinical student placements, Volunteer Resources is not involved with this process.  Contact your school’s placement officer or the lead for your clinical program for more information.

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