Frequently Asked Questions | Volunteer | Bemidji, MN Skip To Content

Frequently asked questions

How long does the application process take? Can I start right away?

The entire application process usually takes three to four weeks to complete. We highly encourage applicants to begin the process up to one month before they would like to begin volunteering.


I don’t see the position I am interested in on the listing of opportunities. Can I request to volunteer in a department that isn’t listed?

Not every department has a need or the resources to accommodate volunteers. The programs listed have been developed to utilize volunteers effectively. We are not usually able to accommodate placement of volunteers in departments not listed.


How many hours do most volunteers work?

Most volunteers start out with one, two to four hour shift a week. Volunteers who are interested in picking up additional shifts are encouraged to discuss options with their coordinator. Both flexible and regular weekly scheduling is available.


I only need 12 volunteer hours for a class. Do you have opportunities that would fulfill this requirement?

Unfortunately, no. We ask our volunteers for a six-month or 50-hour commitment. Check out for short-term volunteer opportunities.


Are there any opportunities in the evenings or on the weekends?

Yes, however, opportunities are limited and usually fill up quickly due to their popularity. Please refer to the "Opportunities" section for more information on programs with evening and weekend availability.


I see that I need a health screening. Is that something I will have to pay for?

No. All medical screening involved with volunteering is covered if it is done through our Employee Health Service.


I need to fulfill some community service hours. Can I do them through Sanford Bemidji? What about court-ordered community service hours?

It depends. We are not able to accept volunteers with misdemeanor or felony charges other than minor driving violations. Also, all volunteers must be able to fulfill the required six-month commitment regardless of the number of hours they need.


Do you offer opportunities to shadow physicians or other medical staff?

We do not offer these opportunities at this time.


I am interested in working in a position where I can observe physicians working with patients, is that possible?

Generally speaking, volunteers will not have the opportunity to observe physicians working with patients during the course of their volunteer work. 


Is there an age limit for volunteering?

The minimum age for volunteering is 16 years old. There is no upper age limit.


I would like to find employment at Sanford Bemidji. Am I guaranteed a job by volunteering?

No, all employment is arranged through our Human Resources Department.