Volunteer at Iowa Methodist Medical Center - Des Moines


Volunteer Opportunities at Iowa Methodist Medical Center

Volunteers at Iowa Methodist Medical Center make a difference for our patients, families and team members. We offer you the satisfaction of helping others along with wonderful support from our staff. Volunteers are needed in areas that range from patient and family contact, such as staffing waiting rooms, escorting or instruction; to clerical such as typing and filing; to customer service in gift shops and retail stores; to working at home on projects, such as sewing.

Volunteer assignments can be arranged on a schedule that suits you. Volunteers' commitments range from daily to once a year. All volunteers must go through a screening process prior to joining the team. We do require that volunteers make at least a 3-month commitment. Find out more about our different volunteer opportunities below.

Volunteer Requirements

Requirements for Adult Volunteers
  • Must be 18 or older.18-year-olds need to be in college; no high school students
  • Complete a health screening
  • Submit three completed personal references
  • COVID vaccination required
  • TB test
  • Flu vaccine required (as applicable Oct-May)
  • Pass a criminal background and dependent adult/child abuse registry check
  • Interview/orientation
  • Complete necessary training
Requirements for College Student Volunteers
  • Currently enrolled in college.
  • Be 18 years of age or older.
  • Commit to volunteering one shift, for a minimum of 2 to 4 hours once per week.
  • Must volunteer for two semesters (Example: summer and fall, fall and spring, spring and summer).

Accelerated Summer Volunteer Requirements

  • Must commit to volunteering two shifts, for 2 to 4 hours, depending on volunteer position.
  • Must volunteer for ten weeks. Early June through the middle of August. 
Requirements for Animal Assisted Therapy
  • All dogs must maintain certification and registration in Therapy Dogs International, Inc.
  • Each dog must pass the American Kennel Club's Canine Good Citizen Test (CGC) and have a temperament test for suitability to become a Therapy Dog.
  • Multiple dog TDI certification is required for volunteers who wish to bring more than one dog on visits.

Adult Volunteer

We have opportunities in patient care areas and non-patient areas such as the gift shop, family waiting rooms, clerical support, and more. A typical volunteer assignment is once a week for 2-4 hours and can be arranged on a schedule that suits you. We ask our volunteers to make a six-month commitment.

Adult Volunteer Opportunities

To navigate, please click on the three lines in the top left-hand corner to see a list of volunteer assignments.

Adult Volunteer Service Spotlights

Not New Shop
If you would enjoy working with the public and helping to provide a valuable service to the community, then volunteering at the Not New Shop thrift store is for you! We are looking for customer service-oriented individuals to assist customers with purchases, sort and price donations and keep the shop the shop in order.
Gift Shop
Would you enjoy interacting with the public in a fun retail environment? Do you have great customer-service skills? We are looking for individuals to help in our Gift Shop to assist customers, ring up sales and help keep the shop organized. Various shifts are available as well as substitute spots.
Escort Volunteer
Do you enjoy talking with people? Would you like to get exercise by walking while you give of your time? Are you good at putting people at ease? We are looking for compassionate individuals to be stationed in the main entrance area of the hospital to escort patients to various testing areas.
Volunteer Office Receptionist
Are you looking for an engaging activity in which you could use your office experience to help others in a friendly atmosphere? Volunteer receptionists use their time and talents to assist in answering the telephone, taking messages, referring calls, etc. Their customer service friendliness helps set the tone for visitors coming to the volunteer office. From walk-in client questions to running errands and helping with assigned projects, the volunteer receptionist position is vital to helping the office run efficiently.

College Student Volunteer

We have opportunities to support patients, families and hospital staff in a variety of areas, including our patient comfort cart program, pediatric and adult emergency departments, hospital elder life program (HELP) and more. A typical volunteer assignment is once a week for 2-4 hours. We ask our volunteers to make a two semester commitment.

Accelerated Summer Volunteer Program

Beginning in Summer 2023, we are offering college volunteers an accelerated volunteer program opportunity. Openings in the program are on a first come, first serve basis. A volunteer assignment is twice a week for 2-4 hours. We ask volunteers to commit to 10 weeks, June through the middle of August. 

For more information about the Accelerated Summer Volunteer Program, please contact Riley Maher, Volunteer Coordinator, at Riley.Maher@unitypoint.org or (515) 263-5231.

College Student Volunteer Opportunities

To navigate, please click on the three lines in the top left-hand corner to see a list of volunteer assignments.

College Student Volunteer Service Spotlights

HELP Program
The Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) was developed by health care experts at Yale University to prevent delirium and physical decline in hospitalized older adults. HELP is now part of quality health care in more than 200 hospitals in the United States and internationally.

The Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) at Iowa Methodist works with nurses, doctors and other health care professionals. HELP volunteers receive special training and education to provide activities and services to assist in keeping patients engaged and active. We are looking for several volunteers to join the HELP team at Iowa Methodist. A 6-month commitment is required.
Emergency Department Volunteer

College students interested in volunteering in the Emergency Department need to be pursuing a degree in a medical-related field. Examples: Nursing, PA, Medicine. Weekday and weekend placements will be for shifts from:

  • 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
  • 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT)

Animal assisted therapy is available for patients and families during their stay. We understand the unique bond between humans and animals and how it can enhance a positive attitude and assist in the healing process.

Animal assisted therapy volunteers are required to commit to visiting our facilities a minimum of once per month. A typical volunteer assignment is once a week for 2-4 hours and can be arranged on a schedule that suits you. We ask our volunteers to make a six-month commitment.


Upon evaluation by the animal assisted therapy program volunteer trainers, the animal must demonstrate behavior that it: is reliable; is controllable; is predictable; inspires confidence in the person s/he is interacting with; and the animal actively solicits interactions with people and is accepting and forgiving of differences in people's reactions and behavior.

Handlers must demonstrate they are reliable, confident, and natural in their interactions with people and animals; have control of their animal; inspire confidence in the person they are interacting with; and actively engage in interactions with people and accept and forgive differences in people's reactions and behavior.