Volunteer Roles

Patient Education Volunteers


Provide assistance to staff and support oncology patients and families at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) Clinic, which is located at 825 Eastlake Avenue East on the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s campus. Volunteers work in the patient education department and may distribute materials throughout the SCCA clinic.


  1. Assist with Patient Manual and packet production.
  2. Assist with clerical functions as assigned.
  3. Assist with stocking patient education materials within the clinic.
  4. Provide excellent customer service for patients and families who visit or call the Patient and Family Resource Center.
  5. Respond to questions regarding cancer information resources and support services. Develop an understanding of the services provided by the SCCA, and other organizations that provide cancer information and support. Refer individuals to the appropriate staff when they discuss specific medical, financial or personal issues.
  6. Orient new patients and family members to the computers, photocopier and fax machine in the Resource Center. Offer assistance with learning how to create web-based email accounts and conduct information searches on the World Wide Web (Internet).
  7. Assist the Resource Center staff with clerical projects and posting fliers.
  8. Organize brochures, magazines and books in the patient waiting areas on a regular basis.
  9. Respect the privacy of patients and family members, and abide by the confidentiality policies of the Volunteer Services Program.


A minimum volunteer commitment of six months is requested. Hours are available within the business day.


  • Excellent customer service and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Experienced in using personal computers with Windows operating systems and searching for information on the World Wide Web (Internet).
  • Familiar with local and national organizations that provide cancer information and support services (additional information will be provided in orientation).
  • Ability to provide empathetic listening, warmth and compassion.
  • Ability to be flexible and sensitive to the needs of patients, families, caregivers and staff.
  • Respect of diverse lifestyles, cultures, religions and values.
  • Ability to work as part of a team.
  • Ability to maintain emotional boundaries and lead a balanced life.
  • Ability to distinguish one's own needs from those of patients and family members.
  • Volunteer must be able to do some lifting. Some tasks may involve repetitive motion.

Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age. Volunteer applicants are asked to complete the Washington State Patrol and Hutchinson Center/SCCA disclosure forms for a criminal background check. Annual tuberculosis testing and documentation for Chickenpox (Varicella), Measles, Mumps and Rubella are required for all volunteers who have contact with patients.


New Volunteers are asked to complete an interview and orientation before they can be assigned to the SCCA Clinic’s Patient and Family Resource Center and Patient Education. Volunteers are encouraged to attend all in-service sessions for continuing education.


Patients are extremely vulnerable to potentially life-threatening infections because their immune systems are suppressed from chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Because of this, volunteers must abide by universal precaution and infectious disease guidelines in order to protect themselves and patients. These guidelines are listed in the Volunteer Manual.


  • Personal satisfaction and growth from providing assistance to patients and their families.
  • An opportunity to become acquainted with people from around the world.
  • An opportunity to gain experience in a multi-disciplinary health care setting.