Volunteer Roles & Time Commitment

What do volunteers do at the Kingston General Hospital site of KHSC? Volunteer placements fall into one of three general categories:

Direct Patient Care

  • Provide diversion and support
  • Assist at meal time
  • Play piano or other musical instruments
  • Serve refreshments to patients on dialysis
  • Provide support and information to patients receiving treatment at the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario

Liaison and Information

  • Welcome patients and families to Kingston General Hospital and the Cancer Centre  of Southeastern Ontario
  • Provide information and directions to the families of patients arriving at our Emergency department and Intensive Care Units

Supporting KGH Auxiliary Retail Services

  • Sales and replenish supplies in the Tuck Shop and Gift Shop
  • Sell refreshments from a coffee cart in our out­patient clinics, the Emergency department waiting area, and the Operating Room waiting area
  • Sell Ontario Lottery & Gaming Association (OLG) tickets to staff, patients and visitors at the Lottery Booth
  • Café Host
  • To learn more about the KGH Auxiliary, click here.

Opportunities NOT available through Volunteer Services at KHSC

  • Research opportunities
  • Job shadowing health care professionals
  • Job shadowing executive leadership
  • Spending time in the OR
  • Opportunities in Dentistry, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Speech Language Pathology
  • A position created for a specific individual (ideas are always welcome but they are vetted, developed, trialed and offered to all current volunteers)


  • At the time of placement, volunteers will receive the list of current vacant shifts to review. To see a complete list of volunteer opportunities at KGH, and the shift days and times that coincide with them, click here.
  • Click here to learn about volunteer opportunities at the Hotel Dieu Hospital site of KHSC.
  • Are there limitations to what a volunteer can do?  Absolutely. Volunteers are provided with a description that outlines the duties for the position they are assuming.  Many of these positions have limitations specific to that role but there are also some generic limitations for all KHSC volunteers.  Volunteers are not permitted to:
    • provide any treatment or give advice regardless of your training or education. Patient’s medical questions must be redirected to a staff member
    • have access to patient information beyond the scope of the volunteer role
    • accept gifts or gain financial benefits from volunteering
    • solicit donations from community members or businesses without permission from Volunteer Services
    • purchase or donate items for a clinic until you have checked with Volunteer Services to ensure the item is appropriate & safe
    • perform duties that are normally performed by employees.

Expected time commitment

  • The weekly commitment can vary anywhere from one to four hours depending on the needs of the program.
  • We have weekday, evening and weekend options.
  • We ask for a minimum commitment of one-shift per week for a minimum of six months

  • We accommodate firm and flexible weekly schedules and are open to discussion with snowbirds, cottagers, travelers, and other schedule alternatives.  Click here for more information about our flexible schedule options.