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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Where do I park?

A.For interview and orientation parking, use the visitor garage on 7th Avenue. We will validate your parking voucher.

When you receive your volunteer I.D. badge on your first day, you will be able to park free of charge in the employee garage on W Terrell Ave. Your badge will allow you access into and out of the garage.

Q. Do I need to bring anything to my volunteer interview?

A. You will need to bring your completed immunization form and your parking voucher so we can validate it.

Q. What if I can't find my immunization record or don't have one?

A. Contact your doctor's office. Tell them what you need. If you are a student, your school or university should have a copy of your immunization record

Q. What if I don't have a doctor?

A. Contact the Health Department in the county where you are a resident.

Q. What is a TB test?

A. It is a skin test that checks for exposure to tuberculosis (TB). It involves a small injection into the top layer of skin on your forearm. Volunteers complete the TB testing free of charge at Cook Children's, after completing orientations. The TB test is an annual requirement.

Q. Do I have to get the TB test done at Cook Children's?

A. No. You can get the test from your doctor, health department, etc. but you will have to assume the cost. The TB test is free only if completed at Cook Children's Occupational Health Clinic.

Q. Do I have to get a flu vaccination?

A. Yes. All volunteers and staff are required to have an annual flu vaccination. It is free of charge for volunteers at Cook Children's.

Q. What if I already received my flu vaccination from somewhere else?

A. Bring or send proof of the vaccination to Cook Children's Occupational Health Clinic so it can be documented.

Q. What if I don't want the flu vaccination for religious reasons or I'm allergic?

A. Contact Cook Children's Occupational Health Services, 682.885.3837.

Q. I don't have a Social Security number. Can I still volunteer?

A. Unfortunately, no. We must have a social security number to be able to complete a background check which is an agency requirement.

Q. Why do I have to complete a background check?

A. As a pediatric medical facility, we work with a very vulnerable population. We want to be sure that children and families are safe while in our care and that staff and volunteers are working in a secure environment.

Q. Do you run a credit check?

A. No. The background check does not include a credit check.

Q. How often will I volunteer?

A. We ask for a minimum commitment of 50 hours in a 12-month period. Most volunteers come once a week for a 3-4 hour shift. You are scheduled the same set day and time each week, although some placements allow for self-scheduling.

Q. Can I volunteer more than 50 hours?

A. Yes. You can ask to be scheduled more often in the same area where you volunteer or in an additional placement to where you volunteer. Contact the volunteer office to set this up.

Q. Do I have to volunteer every week?

A. No. It depends on the placement you choose. Some placements have volunteers who come every other week or even once a month.

Q. What if my work schedule is flexible and I can't commit to volunteering the same day and time each week?

A. We have a Patient Pal placement that allows you to have a flexible schedule so that the day you come in can vary. This is only available Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm.

Q. What kind of training do I need to volunteer?

A.We have two orientation classes: New Volunteer and Patient Care. Both are offered monthly (evenings or Saturdays).

New Volunteer Orientation is three hours and is necessary for all new volunteers.

Patient Care is four hours and only for those who will work one on one with patients/siblings.

Additionally, when you are assigned to a specific unit/department, you will receive an area-specific training and tour on your first day.

Zero Harm Safety Training is three hours and required within three months of your start date.

Q. Is there a cost for training?

A. No. Orientation training is free and includes a meal and all training supplies.

Q. Are there any costs associated with volunteering?

A. Yes. You will need to purchase a Cook Children's volunteer logo shirt from our Enchanted Castle gift shop as part of your volunteer uniform. They range in cost starting from $23 (plus tax) depending on the size.

Q. What is the volunteer uniform?

A. Adult volunteers wear the green Cook Children's logo polo-style shirt, khaki pants, tennis shoes or other closed-toed shoe, and the volunteer I.D. badge. Junior volunteers wear the blue Cook Children's All-Star t-shirt, nice, jeans, tennis shoes, and the I.D. badge.

Q. How do I know where I will volunteer?

A. The application lists all the current placement openings. By clicking on a placement, you can read about the services provided by the volunteer and the requirements for the placement. Placements are divided into Helping Hands and Patient Care. Helping Hands are placements where you meet patients/families but are not responsible for them by yourself. Patient Care are placements where you can be left alone to work one on one with a patient or sibling at bedside, in playrooms or waiting areas. At the time of your interview, a Volunteer Services Coordinator will talk with you about placement options that are a possible match to your skills, experiences, abilities, and interests.

Q. What if I am scheduled to volunteer and can't come or am running late?

A. Contact the volunteer supervisor assigned to you as soon as possible to let them know.

Q. How do I contact my volunteer supervisor?

A. Your supervisor's name, phone number, and email address are on the copy of your service description you receive when you start volunteering. We recommend that you add your supervisor to your cell phone contacts in case of urgent need.

Q. What if I need to change my schedule?

A. Contact your supervisor to see what other days and times are available. Then contact the volunteer office to let them know about the change.

Q. What if I am sick and can't come in to volunteer?

A. Contact your volunteer supervisor as soon as possible to let them know. If you have had a fever, you must be fever-free for 24 hours before you are eligible to volunteer again.

Q. What if I have to stop volunteering?

A. Contact the volunteer office.

Q. What if I have a question not listed here?

A. Call the Volunteer Services office at 682.885.4337 for assistance.

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