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Volunteer with
Care New England

Join Our Team

The Volunteer Services Department is committed to integrating community volunteers into roles that provide exemplary customer service to meet the hospital's priorities and mission.

We welcome volunteer involvement in areas of the hospital where you can support customer service initiatives and our busy health care staff. Volunteer opportunities may include escorting and guiding patients and visitors, helping in clinical and non-clinical areas, and supporting administrative functions.

No matter where you may volunteer, it is essential that you:
  • Take pride in your work.
  • Meet the time commitment you agree upon.
  • Work effectively with others.
  • Present a positive attitude through your actions.
  • Focus on the customers you are serving; patients, visitors, or coworkers.

Open Volunteer Application

Program Requirements

Time Commitment

Because of the time and resources invested in this process, we expect that you will make a minimum commitment of at least one consistent three or four-hour shift each week. Six months of service - approximately 100 hours.

Any programs requiring a different timeframe have that specified in the program overview.

Onboarding Requirements

We expect you to complete the following onboarding within two to three weeks to hold the position you accepted:

  • Health screening which includes 2 (two) current TB tests and immunization screening. Please be aware that during flu season, an annual flu shot is required of all volunteers unless medically contraindicated per physician documentation.
  • Orientation to hospital-wide policies and practices.
  • Customer service overview.
  • Criminal background check.
  • Acquisition of hospital ID badge.
  • A volunteer uniform may be required for your position.
  • Additional classroom training is required for some positions, as indicated in program descriptions. Volunteer program staff will guide you in the intake process, supported by other staff and hospital resources.

Our Volunteer Programs

Ambassador Program

The health care environment can be overwhelming and confusing. Volunteer ambassadors can help reduce anxiety by offering compassionate support to patients and families in many areas of our facilities. Some of our volunteer ambassadors are the face of our hospital as people arrive for care; others provide information when someone is looking for a hospitalized loved one. Some volunteer ambassadors serve our patients and the community in our outpatient offices.

If your goal is to offer support and relieve the anxiety experienced by patients and families coming for services at the hospital, than an ambassador role can be the best way to make that impact.

If the following is the case with you, please consider applying for an Ambassador position:

  • You are comfortable approaching people you do not know.
  • You project a warm and confident manner.
  • You enjoy informing and assisting people in an unfamiliar environment.
  • You like to take the uncertainty out of a situation or experience.
  • You are able to provide wheelchair transport (with training)
  • You are bilingual

The Ambassador role is key to our patient satisfaction initiatives, as their focus is to welcome and guide our patients, visitors and guests. Volunteer Ambassadors target their efforts towards this end regardless of where they are based. Specific duties may vary depending upon the areas supported.
Cuddlers Program

These positions are only available at Women & Infants and all of them are currently filled. Therefore, you should complete our online application if you would like to be considered for a cuddler role. However, since the program is designed for minimal turnover, recruitment is not done routinely.

In addition to the overall volunteer requirements, some additional standards are set for Cuddler positions. These include:

  • A minimum commitment of a weekly shift for at least one year.
  • CPR training which is maintained throughout your service.
The Gift Shop at Kent Hospital

The gift shop volunteer position includes a variety of duties and responsibilities that requires the applicant to understand inventory in the shop to help the customers. In addition, accuracy, attention to detail, strong interpersonal skills and an ability to deal with cash transactions are important for this role.

If you possess these skills and are able to make a regular commitment to at least one or two shifts each week, please complete the Care New England Volunteer Application. You can also email EFish@kentri.org for more information

Hospice Volunteer Program

Are you looking for a rewarding opportunity to volunteer your time and give back to your community? The VNA of Care New England Hospice is looking for people who care about terminally ill people and want to make a difference in the life of a dying person. We have a number of volunteer opportunities that can be done at home, in our offices, or with patients. Training is provided that includes monthly gatherings for ongoing education and volunteer companionship. Make new friends and learn a new skill, all while making a positive impact for hospice patients in your community.

Phone A Friend

If you want to help hospice patients who are scared, lonely, or need support, volunteer to call adult terminally ill patients. These calls are made from the VNA offices in Warwick and might include skype chat or phone chat. Volunteers can offer community updates, local news, and general friendly conversation.

Guardian Angel

Spend two hours at a time sitting with a dying patient who is living in a nursing home, so they don’t die without a person by their side. Guardian Angel volunteers provide a calming and peaceful presence during end of life at local nursing homes in the community.

Critter Sitter

Help with pet care for a terminally ill patient. All pets will have updated vaccinations.

Knight In Shining Armor

Visit hospice patients in their homes to provide in-person companionship and rest for their caregivers on Saturdays/Sundays or evenings.

Coordination Crew

Work in the hospice office supporting the hospice volunteer coordinator.

Creative Crafters

Opportunities exist to work directly with terminally ill patients and their family members to create legacy/memory books and to help children of terminally ill parents by providing a distraction from illness. Work from home and still contribute to the community by creating busy blankets for patients with dementia or knitting lap blankets for hospice patients.

Journey Companion

General volunteers make visits to terminally ill patients during daytime or evening hours to provide one-on-one companionship, helping caregivers with light chores or staying with the patient so the caregiver can get out of the home for enjoyment or errands. Responsibilities may also include clerical duties in the office, light cooking for patients, or running errands for terminally ill patients.

Candidates must be over 18 years of age and be willing to make a one year commitment to service following your training for positions in the patient's home. For information, call the VNA of Care New England Hospice at (401) 737-6050 or email BFletcher@VNACareNewEngland.org.

Office Assistant

Many projects and activities required to support our patient care services happen behind the scenes in an office environment. Office assistant help is needed in departments to support the communications and documentation needed to maintain programming. Whether collecting data and statistics for reports, entering information and data into computer software programs, filing and organizing records or providing other clerical support, Office Assistants are part of administrative teams across the system. We appreciate the level of attention to detail and precision that administrative volunteers bring to departments to support their key functions.

If the following is the case for you, you may want to apply for an Office Assistant position:

  • You enjoy being based in an office setting.
  • You prefer to have a specific list of tasks to accomplish during your shift.
  • You would rather work with a consistent group of staff rather than with a changing group of patients and families.
Care New England Program

Care New England welcomes individuals who want to support the work taking place across our system to create a community of healthier people. You will have the opportunity to apply to the Care new England hospitals and/or programs of your choice when you complete your Volunteer Application.

Volunteers can be:

  • students or adults exploring careers in a healthcare setting.
  • working or retired people looking to expand their network of experiences.
  • someone wanting to meet new people or add a new dimension of meaning to their days.


Volunteers might work with staff supporting a department role that serves our patient care mission. Others work more independently, providing direction or support in navigating our facilities and services.

Our volunteers make an impression on our patients, their families and visitors. They see members of the community making an effort to help them- directly or indirectly. They know they are in an environment where caring is extended throughout.

In turn, dedicated volunteers get satisfaction from giving back to the community or to a hospital where they or a loved one were provided care. They have an opportunity to make a difference to the patient and family experience.

If you have as little as one 4 hour block of time to set aside each week to come to the hospital, look at the information that follows to learn how you might get involved as a Care New England Volunteer.

Patient and Family Advisory Council

Patient and family-centered care is an approach to health care that shapes policies, programs, facility design, and staff day-to-day interactions. It leads to a more informed allocation of resources, better health outcomes, and greater patient and family satisfaction. At Care New England, we embrace the philosophy of patient and family-centered care and offer many patient and advisory councils across our hospitals. We understand that our patients, their family members, our community partners, and staff have invaluable input that can enhance our professional knowledge and improve the way we provide care for every patient.

For more information or to become a member of one of our councils please contact:

  • Butler Hospital - Diane Block, PhdD, OTR or call 1 (401) 455-6598
  • Women and Infants Hospital - email MOdonnell@wihri.org
Pet Therapy Program

This position requires you have your own certified therapy dog trained to work in a hospital environment. We know that spending time with pets makes us feel good and enriches our lives. The Pet Therapy Program taps the benefits of this interaction to decrease a patient's stress and enhance the health care experience by providing visits with your certified therapy dog trained to work in a hospital environment. The dogs make a difference to the staff and families of patients, as well.

Additional benefits of pet therapy are:

  • Positive therapeutic experiences to help minimize the stress of the hospital environment.
  • Reduced anxiety and enhanced coping skills by providing a distraction from illness and hospitalization.
  • Increased normalization of the hospital experience by making it more "home-like."


If you have a certified pet therapy dog and are interested in volunteering at a Care New England facility, submit a volunteer application.

Teen Program Overview
The Teen Volunteer Program is designed to offer an opportunity for youth to experience working in a healthcare setting while exposing them to a variety of occupations in the health care industry.

Eligibility:

Students who have completed one year of high school may aspire to be part of the health care industry and are able to make a minimum commitment of at least four months of consistent weekly volunteer service are eligible to participate in the program.

Application Process:

If you meet our eligibility requirements, you are welcomed to submit a volunteer application. If your application indicates that your skills, interests, and availability match one of our open positions, will we contact you for an interview. If you are offered a position, you will need to complete an onboarding process that involves some steps before you can start. These include:

  • Completing a Health Form that collects required immunization information.
  • Presenting dates and results of 2 Tuberculosis Tests that have been done within the last year prior to starting.
  • Submitting 2 references.
  • Reviewing and understanding a comprehensive orientation packet.
  • Completing Wheelchair Transport Training (for all positions working with patients and visitors).
 

We want you to be aware of these expectations in advance. Working in a healthcare environment is not easy - but it can be very rewarding.  We value the contributions of our junior workforce and look forward to partnering with motivated teens.

Unit Assistant Program

Volunteers can also provide customer service and support to patients and staff on our busy nursing care units. While volunteers cannot provide care to patients, they can extend compassion and assistance to ensure staff, patients and family members feel supported. All volunteers in this role will need to complete transport training to be able to move patients around the facility and connect them with services or to take them to the door where their rides await to bring them home. Additional guidance will be provided on the units when you begin. Placement in a specific department will be determined by a number of factors, including your availability.

If the following is the case for you, you may want to apply for a Unit Assistant position:

  • You are comfortable interacting with a variety of staff as well as patients and families.
  • You enjoy seeing what the shift may hold - as patient volumes and individual patient preferences often determines what help is needed on any given day.
  • You are comfortable spending one-on-one time with patients and, sometimes, their family members, often while transporting them via wheelchair.
  • You can navigate through a large facility, often helping locate needed supplies and equipment.

How to Apply

While all applications are reviewed, we do so in light of department and program needs, as well as the availability of open positions. If you do not hear back from one of the volunteer program staff, that means we do not have a position for you at that time. We do review applications as far back as 2-3 months as needs arise.

We will call you to schedule an interview if your application indicates a fit with one of our open positions. The interview will allow us to further explore the possibilities. After accepting a volunteer position, you have a 2-3 week timeframe to complete onboarding and getting started!

Open Volunteer Application

Volunteer Program Contact Information

Butler Hospital

TSWatkins@careNE.org
(401) 680-4360

Hospice Program

BFletcher@vnacarenewengland.org
(401) 737-6050 ext. 57661

Kent Hospital

EFish@careNE.org
(401) 737-7000 ext. 31328

Women & Infants

Volunteer@WihRI.org
(401) 430-1469