Frequently Asked Questions

What qualities are we looking for in HDH VOLUNTEERS?

At Hotel Dieu we welcome volunteers of all backgrounds and request they, like staff, commit to the Be Real Code of Behaviour.  The key elements of Be Real are Respect, Equality, Accountability and Leadership. By treating everyone the way you would like to be treated, HDH will continue to foster a healthy and productive work environment.

  • Respect – We treat all others with respect and dignity at all times. Respect means consideration, politeness and courtesy in what we say and write and in our actions. Even when we may disagree with the ideas or beliefs of another person, we strive to understand and accept the differences in perspective. We use the power of our words and actions to demonstrate our commitment to the hospital’s values.
  • Equality – Everyone in our hospital is equally valued no matter what their position in our organization. We strive to create a climate of understanding and mutual respect for the dignity and worth of each person so they feel part of our organization. Diversity is valued (i.e. differences in race, nationality or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or disability). We promote equality and the acceptance of people from diverse backgrounds, communities and cultures.
  • Accountability – We are each accountable for demonstrating appropriate and professional behaviour. We take responsibility, are prepared to answer for own actions, and act with integrity and honesty. We build trust and teamwork by doing the right thing and resolving problems in which we have played a role.
  • Leadership – We lead by example. No matter what our role in the hospital, each of us takes the lead in modeling respectful behaviour even when those around us may not be doing the same. We have the courage to ask to be treated fairly ourselves, to stand up for others and to bring incidents of disrespectful behaviour to management’s attention.

What type of commitment is required to volunteer at HDH?

The commitment required for volunteers varies depending on the position you are volunteering in.  Most positions involve 2-4 hours once a week.  Some volunteers assist with more sporadic positions like the winter Coat Drive, and others come to volunteer a couple times a week in one or two different positions.

Most of our positions are highly dependent on volunteers and require a weekly commitment to the task, with the exception of course of sick time and vacations.

What if I am not able to commit to certain days each week?

There are a few positions at HDH that are quite independent and flexible such as helping prepare information kits for patients.   Other positions must be done for example on a Tuesday from 10:00am-11:30pm and there is no flexibility.
If you have very specific needs it is best to speak with the Manager of Volunteer Resources to see if they can be accommodated within the position(s) you are interested in.

The only volunteer positions we have that are available on weekends or starting after 4pm are preparing information kits or assisting in Urgent Care which is open 8am-8pm 7 days a week.

I am only available on a seasonal basis – would that work?

Some of our volunteers are ‘snowbirds’ traveling south in the winter, or go to their cottage for the summer.  With notice this can generally be accommodated in most of our volunteer positions. 

Are there limitations to what a volunteer can do?

Absolutely. Volunteers are provided with a position description which outlines the duties for the position they are assuming.  Many of these positions have limitations specific to that job but there are also some generic limitations for what volunteers at Hotel Dieu Hospital are not permitted to:

  • provide any treatment or give advice regardless of your training or education; patients medical questions must be redirected to a staff member
  • have access to any patient files
  • clean up any spills of blood, vomit or other hazardous materials
  • accept gifts or gain financial or health benefits from volunteering
  • solicit donations from community members or businesses without permission from Volunteer Resources
  • purchase or donate items for a clinic until you have checked with Volunteer Resources to ensure the item is appropriate & safe

What happens if I start to volunteer and then become unwell or need to take a leave from my duties?

We understand that from time to time physical health, mental health issues or personal schedules may prevent a volunteer from performing their volunteer duties (i.e. unable to stand or sit for long periods because of injury, recovering from surgery, dealing with overwhelming anxiety, taking care of a loved one who is unwell, etc.)  In cases where you think the situation will be resolved soon simply call in sick to the Manager Volunteer Resources and to your department contact at your earliest opportunity so we can arrange a replacement if possible.

We respect and appreciate commitment and dedication to volunteering but in longer term or more serious situations it may present a risk to you and to the hospital if you are on site and attempting to perform duties that you may not be in a condition to perform. In that case we will support a request for a leave of absence for up to 1 year until such time that the volunteer feels they are able to perform their duties. We may request that the volunteer meets with our Occupational Health Dept. &/or their family doctor to ensure that they able to return & to seek their input to establish a return to volunteer plan depending on the individual circumstances.

Where is the volunteer resources office at HDH?

The easiest way to find Volunteer Resources is to come in the Sydenham Street entrance of HDH.  Once you come in the doors you will turn to your right.  Volunteer Resources is the first blue door on your right as you walk down this hall.  This is the area where you will go for Interviews and Orientation unless directed otherwise.

Please note:  There is only 1 employee in Volunteer Resources, and more than 200 volunteers in 30 different roles at any given time.  It is best to book an appointment to ensure the Manager is in office and available when you arrive. 613-544-3400 ext 2311 or

The Sydenham Street entrance to HDH is not accessible.  If you require an accessible entrance it is best to come in the main lobby on Brock Street and the Information Desk volunteers will be happy to direct you from there.

What is the dress code for Volunteers?

Example of Dress CodeVolunteers are provided a smock and name badge to be worn when performing assigned duties unless otherwise stated in your volunteer description. The smocks and badge are not to be worn off hospital property and volunteers are responsible for laundering their own smocks as needed.  Both the smock and name badge must be returned to Volunteer Resources when you are no longer an active volunteer.

If you have a sleeve-less smock then you must have a shirt with sleeves on under it.

Shorts or skirts are acceptable if they are knee length (or well below the length of the smock).

For your safety please wear closed toed comfortable soft-soled shoes.

Extremely casual items such as the following are inappropriate: baseball caps, jogging pants, tank tops (unless covered with a sleeved smock), torn or stained clothing.

Special dress is required in some hospital areas (i.e. no jeans in café, no smock in Cardiac Rehab).

Good personal hygiene is a must.  Clean & tidy attire is expected at all times.

Please adhere to our scent free workplace policy.