Massachusetts General Hospital volunteers have been a central part of the hospital for over 200 years and are one of its most valued resources.

Our volunteers represent all age groups, backgrounds and experiences, and they share a common goal of making a world of difference at Massachusetts General Hospital. Each year, over 1300 volunteers provide over 90,000 hours of service to patients, families and visitors. We hope you will consider joining our team.

Our volunteers are involved in a variety of activities throughout the hospital and at all levels of the organization:

  • Helping patients and families navigate the Mass General campus
  • Assisting with patient discharges and escorts within the hospital
  • Providing families with updates on loved ones in the Family Waiting Area
  • Cheering patients with pet therapy visits
  • Serving lunches to patients in some treatment areas (Cancer Center)
  • Bringing books, magazines and a friendly visit to patients
  • Assisting with office support in the Volunteer Office
  • ...And much, much more!

Sample List of Volunteer Opportunities

Patient Discharge/Escort
Each year, the Volunteer Department receives more than 50,000 requests to provide discharge and escort services for patients within the hospital. Volunteer patient escorts work as part of a team with Information Associates, wayfinders and greeters to provide high quality service to patients and families as they move throughout Mass General.

Cancer Center Volunteer
Massachusetts General Hospital operates one of the premier Cancer Centers in the world. Our volunteers are an enormous help to patients who are visiting the Center’s outpatient clinics—undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment and/or meeting with an oncologist or nurse practitioner. Patients may undergo frequent treatment and are often not feeling well. A volunteer is there to make a big difference in their day by offering a snack, blanket or a ready listening ear.

Museum Docent
Located on the hospital’s Main Campus, the Paul S. Russell, MD, Museum of Medical History and Innovation tells the rich story of Mass General through interactive media displays, artifacts and photographs. Volunteer docents help visitors learn about Mass General’s important contributions to the medical field and to see how these discoveries and advancements have shaped the present – and how the hospital can continue to shape the future of medicine. 

Volunteer Office
Our Volunteer Office is a very busy and bustling place with volunteers calling and coming and going. Volunteers help in our office to provide a friendly, welcoming and professional environment to current and prospective volunteers. They assist the staff with basic office duties and projects. Some of the office duties include filing, copying, collating, assisting with mailings and answering the office telephone as needed.

Book Cart
Many of our patients are here for extended periods of time and require some distractions from the routine of the day. Along comes our Book Cart offering reading materials, conversations, and good cheer to our patients. Volunteers bring the Book Cart to selected patients’ rooms and offer reading materials and a friendly visit. They keep a log of the floors visited and the number of items distributed.

Family Waiting Area
Family Waiting Area is a warm and welcoming space where volunteers offer calm and compassionate service to provide comfort to families of patients undergoing surgery. Volunteers are an extension of the care team who supports family members at their most vulnerable time to provide them with information as they eagerly wait for their loved ones while they are in surgery. They help to manage families’ expectations by greeting and registering families as they arrive, maintaining and updating patients' family information, monitoring patients’ surgical timing progress, movements and room assignments through an online system. They also connect families with the surgeons to receive information about the status of their loved ones.

Pet Therapy
The Pet Therapy Program provides patients with the opportunity to receive a visit from a furry, friendly and specially trained dog and a handler who is also a trained volunteer. This is what one of our patients had to say about the program: "I thought I would not smile today—then I saw Sam [a pet therapy volunteer dog]." Since the beginning of the program, over 80,000 patients, families and staff have received visits from our pet friends.