Volunteering in Outpatient

Under the supervision of a Physical and/or Occupational therapist, the Volunteer will observe and learn about the physical and/or occupational therapy profession. Their duties will include but will not be limited to maintaining treatment areas, equipment, supplies; performance of routine office duties; assisting with patient treatments as directed by a physical and/or occupational therapist and responding to other assistive request(s) to promote the overall therapeutic program.

Duties will be conducted in accordance with the Physical/Occupational Therapy Practice Act of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. Volunteers will not have "hand-on" contact with patients.

Outpatient Volunteer Guidelines

Please read the important Outpatient Volunteer Guidelines to learn more about the Health Clearance requirements. To view the guidelines, click here.

General Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Check daily schedule for assigned duties upon arrival each day
  2. Help keep the therapy area clean, orderly and safe
    • Return equipment to proper place
    • Maintain open areas for wheelchair passage and ambulatory patients
    • Change and discard used linens promptly after use
    • Stock linen cabinets and maintain appropriate levels of linen
  3. Perform clerical duties to include but not limited to
    • Photo copying
    • Filing
    • Replenishing forms or bins
    • Collating
    • Faxing
    • Restocking office supplies
    • Computer data entry
    • Phone answering will be limited to "interoffice" communications only until proper Customer Service training has been completed
  4. Assist therapist in patient care and preparation of treatment area
    • Greet, escort and/or transport patient to and from therapy area
    • Prepare area and/or equipment for patient treatment
    • Supervise exercise programs as directed by physical and/or occupational therapist
    • Stabilize wheelchair for patient's transfer
    • Bring wheelchair behind patient who is ambulating
    • Assist group leaders during exercise groups
    • Prepare hot and cold packs


Education: Requires the ability to read and write English. Also requires the ability to speak and understand written and oral directions in English.

Complexity and Judgment: Work consists of a number of varied tasks. Volunteers must have decision making capabilities using standard instructions, policies, protocols and/or procedures for guidance. The on-site supervisor will be consulted to handle non-standard activities.

Working Conditions: Working conditions may involve an occasional exposure to dust, fumes, noise, heat, or similar elements. Depending on department, conditions may be less desirable than those found in an office. Duties may require moderate visual attention to a computer, video display terminal, or similar equipment or device. Injuries, should they occur, would be minor (e.g., minor cuts, burns and abrasions).

Physical Demands: Duties may require exerting up to ten pounds of force occasionally and/or small amounts of force frequently. Any sedentary work typically involving sitting most of the time, however as tasks vary per service area/role, the volunteer may be subjected to brief and/or extended walking or standing, pushing, pulling, lifting, bending, and stooping.

Other: Annually, all volunteers must update their PPD and Flu shots with Occupational Health and successfully complete NRH mandatories including but not limited to: HIPPA, Infection Control, Injury Prevention and Workplace Violence.

The duties stated are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and sills required of a volunteer. Other related duties may be assigned within scope of ability.