Our volunteer program for individual clinic-based OT primarily provides an opportunity to mentor those looking into or preparing for a career in occupational therapy, rather than a true need for volunteers. 

Volunteer activities within the Occupational Therapy program includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Helping out with dishes and oral motor tools, sanitizing equipment, re-stocking towels, cleaning up, safely helping to hang or move equipment or demonstrating a task for or taking turns with a child, etc.
  • Learning through observation with some discussion over aspects of therapy (not including confidential details)

We have limited space available to participate and there is frequently a wait-list. In this capacity, we have the following options, depending on your educational status and career intentions: 

  • A one-time opportunity to shadow an OT for a partial day.  This opportunity is designed for those who have not yet completed a bachelor’s degree or for professionals who have already completed an OT or OTA program and are looking to gain understanding of this particular practice setting. Participants who have not yet completed the prerequisites for ongoing mentorship are encouraged to consider other volunteer opportunities at PTN that will give them some exposure to occupational therapy (i.e. participating in our Early Intervention or Social Skills group programs or in Camp Escapades)
  • For those who have already finished a bachelor’s degree (or finishing a final term of your BA) and need hours to apply to graduate OT school or professional OTA school, we offer ongoing mentorship opportunities. *These assignments take place under a licensed OT for 2-5 hours per week, at a consistent day and time, for a number of months with a maximum of 80 hours total. We do not allow people to complete the 80 hours in a short period of time because seeing the progression of therapy is an important part of learning. * Participants receive a letter of verification of hours completed but are not guaranteed a letter of recommendation.

Volunteer Requirements:  Professional behaviors expected, including punctuality, commitment, good communication skills, a positive attitude, and ability to follow directions and procedures as instructed.  Volunteers must exercise good judgement regarding boundaries and confidentiality and demonstrate respectful interactions with mentors, other PTN staff, families and clients.

Minimum Time Commitment: A couple hours for the one-time shadowing opportunity and 2-5 hours per week, at the same day and time, for a number of months (a minimum of two) for the ongoing mentorship opportunity.

Maximum Hours: 80 overall

Days of the Week: *Monday through Friday, during clinic hours (8am-6pm); depending on availability of mentors. *Volunteers are assigned to a specific licensed OT (rather than to the clinic as a whole) for direct supervision during specific consecutive treatments.  For that reason, that shift is not guaranteed (e.g. if the supervisor’s schedule changes, or is unavailable that day or if clients are absent). Volunteer shifts are not available at all times that the clinic is open and are subject to both mentor availability and additional factors (e.g. impact of additional people in treatment for the client, family and other therapy staff). This position is not suitable for individuals who need to complete an internship in order to finish a degree (group programs with specific hours are recommended for that purpose).  

Age Requirement: Minimum age of 18

Volunteer Locations: Torrance Clinic Only

Qualification Requirements: Candidates must have finished a bachelor’s degree and intend to pursue a career in occupational therapy in order to participate in the ongoing mentorship. However, applications are accepted for those who are in the final term of obtaining a B.A.  If you’d like to do a partial-day one-time shadow with an OT, placement requires proof of a negative TB test and several weeks’ notice to match with a willing therapist for a partial day. Tour, negative TB test, orientation, and interview is required for ongoing mentorship.