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Internships and Volunteer Programs

ECHN Patient and Family Advisory Council

Patient and Family Advisory Councils (PFACs) are one of the ways we partner with patients, family members, and caregivers. It is a productive way for patients and families to partner with ECHN to provide guidance on how to improve the patient and family experience. PFAC members consist of volunteer patients and families who collaborate with employees (clinical and administrative) at monthly meetings, to work on a variety of hospital and patient- and family-centered care initiatives.


Internship/Externship Program

If you are interested in ECHN’s internship/externship program, please contact the ECHN Volunteer Manager at 860.646.1222 ext. 2717.

Please note: Due of the high volume of requests we receive, someone from our management team will be in touch with you only if we have an opportunity that meets your needs.


Volunteering at ECHN

Dedicated volunteers give thousands of hours of service to ECHN. Volunteers must have the desire to assist patients, their families and our community. Excellent customer service skills, compassion, maturity, empathy, objectivity, tact and the ability to maintain confidentiality are required.

In addition, volunteers must complete an application and be on-boarded. The on-boarding process requires, medical clearance, a background check, as well as, the review and completion of all orientation materials.

Please note that current volunteering opportunities are very limited.  For more information and to obtain an application, please contact the ECHN Volunteer Manager at 860.646.1222 ext. 2717 or info@echn.org.


Observation/Shadowing Opportunities

ECHN is happy to offer short-term opportunities to observe the care and services provided at ECHN for the purposes of, but not limited to, career exploration, degree requirements, recruiting or for educational purposes. Observations are a completely hands-off experience and require the supervision of an ECHN staff member or physician at all times. In order to be considered for an observation or shadowing opportunity you must:

Locate a Sponsor
You are responsible for securing a sponsor (ECHN employee or physician) who will allow you to observe under his/her supervision. Please keep in mind that ECHN does not provide placement assistance for observations nor are we permitted to give out contact information for physicians or other staff members. You are welcome to use any contact you may have (family, friends, former observers, employees) to secure a sponsor.

Download and Complete an Observation Request Form
Once you have secured a sponsor, you will need to review, complete, and sign the proper Observation Request Form (see below). Please note that if you are under the age of 18, a parent or guardian must also sign. Upon completion, please submit this form to your sponsor, so that they may complete and then it may be submitted. Please understand that this is simply the first step in the process. One must review educational materials, pass a test related to these materials, sign appropriate forms and be medically clear prior to his/her shadowing experience. You and your sponsor will be notified when you are set to shadow. With this in mind, please understand that the process takes time so plan accordingly.

If you are a high school, technical/trades school, college or university student, download and complete the Observation Request Form for Students [PDF].

If you are an ECHN employee, volunteer, contracted student or other licensed healthcare professional who has already completed various health screening requirements through your contract or program involvement, please download and complete the Observation Request Form for Pre-Cleared Observers [PDF].

Return the ECHN Observation Clearance Packet
After your request form has been reviewed and approved, you will be sent a confirmation email from ECHN along with the appropriate clearance documentation requirements that must be completed and submitted two weeks prior to the start of your approved observation. All costs associated with the clearance process will be the responsibility of the observer.

If you have any questions, please contact the ECHN Volunteer and Community Relations Manager at 860.646.1222 ext. 2717.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: May I begin my observation experience prior to submitting all requirements?
A: No. Your observation will not begin until ECHN has received all paperwork and formally approved your observation period.

Q: I’ve been processed before or am currently rotating as part of an established educational contract, but would like to observe in an area not covered by my contract. Can you use my existing information and documentation?
A: Possibly. You are still required to secure a sponsor who will submit the Observation Request Form on your behalf. The Coordinating Department will pull your file or communicate with the department that holds the documentation associated with your school’s contract with ECHN, confirm participation eligibility, and determine if additional documentation is required.

Q: How long may I observe?
A: Seven business days or 56 total hours. The length of a specific observation is at the discretion of the sponsor, but may not to exceed seven business days or 56 total hours. This is a cumulative, annual maximum, meaning that even if the observer would like to observe in multiple departments or under different sponsors, their time is not to exceed seven business days or 56 hours, unless otherwise approved.
Q: May I submit another request to observe after my first observation is complete?
A: Yes, if you have not reached the maximum allowable hours/days. You may always submit a request, provided you have found a sponsor. Unfortunately, if you have reached the maximum allowable observation hours/days, you may not submit another request for another observation until the following calendar year. If you enjoyed your experience observing and would like to continue at the ECHN facility in another capacity, you can consider applying for one of our competitive internships/externships or inquire about current Volunteer openings. Upon any request, your file will be pulled to ensure the request is not in conflict of policy.
Q: May I have more than one sponsor or preceptor at a time?
A: Yes. An Observation Request Form must be filled out and submitted to any sponsor for their signature and approval. The sponsor will then seek permission from their supervisor and if approved will submit the paperwork on your behalf.
Q: Can I shadow my family member?
A: Yes. Individuals are permitted to shadow family members, provided all policies and procedures have been followed.
Q: Can you help me find a sponsor?
A: No. The candidate must find a potential sponsor from the department in which they wish to observe. ECHN does not provide placement assistance for observations, nor will contact information of employees be given out. Students are welcome to use any contact they may have (family, friends, former observers, employees) to secure a sponsor, or they may utilize the ECHN website in obtaining contact information.
Q: Do I need to meet the immunization requirements if I’m not entering a patient care area within ECHN?
A: Yes. The immunization documentation is required for all candidate observers entering any ECHN facility.