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Volunteer, Undergraduate Student Observation, Career Exploration Seminar and Job Shadow Opportunities

Interested in volunteering? Click here.

Need observation hours for a college course or program? Click here.

Are you undecided on a future career and want to attend our Career Exploration Seminar? This seminar is required to be eligible for a one-time job shadow opportunity. Click here.


College Student Volunteer Program (designed for students to gain experience and observation through volunteering in one of the listed programs)

Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital offers volunteer opportunities for college students pursuing degrees in physical therapy, speech-language pathology, recreation therapy and occupational therapy. In this program, college students assist clinicians with set up and break down before and after patient therapy. They help keep the rehabilitation gyms and areas organized and sanitized while observing therapy from nearby.

Some direct observation occurs as time allows, but this is not always guaranteed. In this program, college student volunteers support professionals in our inpatient and outpatient areas. (*If you are interested in volunteer opportunities specific to Child Life Specialist or Orthotics, Prosthetics & Bionics, please review information on these opportunities under our general volunteer opportunities section).

Things to Know

  • You must be 18 years or older
  • College students must be able to commit to at least one 15-week session
  • College students must be able to commit to one shift per week
  • Shifts typically are three hours
  • Limited weekend shifts are available
  • The earliest volunteer shift is 8 am – noon and the latest shift offered is 4 – 7 pm
  • Volunteers are not assigned one-on-one to a therapist
  • Reference letter and graduate school form completion is not considered, unless a student has finished two consecutive volunteer sessions. While Mary Free Bed staff isn’t obligated to complete graduate forms or write reference letters, the appropriate hospital staff member will happily complete these documents should a student’s efforts warrant. It’s the student’s obligation to let the therapists know they are interested in having letters and/or forms completed at the beginning of their time with us.

Interested in volunteering? Click here.


Career Exploration Seminar and Job Shadowing
Please note that Mary Free Bed defines a job shadow as a one-time experience for up to four hours only. (If you are a Therapeutic Recreation Student, please see the * below)

Mary Free Bed’s Career Exploration Seminar Program is designed for high school students 16 years or older, undecided college students or individuals looking to change careers. (This program is not appropriate for those who have chosen an academic focus. Please instead consider the College Student Volunteer Program outlined above). Participants can expect to learn about speech-language pathology, orthotics and prosthetics, occupational therapy, physical therapy, recreational therapy, psychology, social work (case management) and nursing.

Students will receive information on schooling requirements, potential salary expectations and a typical day’s routine. Job shadowing opportunities are offered on a limited basis and students must attend a Career Exploration Seminar before being eligible for a one-time job shadowing opportunity.

2018 Career Seminar Dates:

May 29
Sept. 20
Dec. 13

Seats are limited. To reserve your seat email volunteer@maryfreebed.com with your intent to attend, name(s) of attendee(s) and the name of the school currently attending. A confirmation will be sent to you. The topics presented are subject to staff availability. The room location of the seminar and parking directions will be emailed to you a few days prior to the seminar.

For more Career Exploration Seminar information or to request a flyer, email volunteer@maryfreebed.com or call Volunteer Services at 616.840.8667.

*Current Therapeutic Recreation Students only – We have opportunities for you to job shadow one time for up to four hours only. If you need more hours, you must secure a spot in the College Student Volunteer Program. Opportunities are available on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month from 9 am-noon or 1-4 pm. Email volunteer@maryfreebed.com for an application.