VolunteersWhat a SWITCH shift isHow to start volunteeringUpcoming orientationsVolunteer OpportunitiesTestimonials


There are lots of ways to be involved at SWITCH. We have a huge variety of people that make everything pull together each week. We have people that volunteer all the time, some of the time, take part in programming, sit on council, or are shift supervisors. And, of course, we have people that don’t know how to make the first step!


What a SWITCH shift is

You’re interested in becoming a volunteer and we’re interested in having you work with us. Here’s the run-down of what a typical shift looks like when you volunteer at SWITCH.

When and where are shifts?

SWITCH operates Monday and Wednesday evenings from 5–9pm, and Saturday afternoon from 12-4pm at Westside Clinic. During the summer months (June/July/August) SWITCH operates Wednesday evenings only, from 5-9pm. SWITCH is closed all holidays and holiday weekends.

What are shifts?

The first half hour of the shift is used for students to organize themselves, be assigned duties, and help in the kitchen. Then there is ‘prebrief’, where we give introductions and smudge. In the middle, we see clients and keep the clinic running smoothly. The last hour of each shift is spent debriefing.

How many people are on each shift?

The shifts are comprised of the following personnel:

  • Professionals: Physician or nurse practitioner, 3-7 interdisciplinary mentors, receptionist, and cultural support worker
  • Student Volunteers: Shift supervisor, Outreach team members, and Clinical team

What are each team’s duties?


  • ensures a welcoming environment for patients and community members
  • prepares and provides food and drink in waiting area
  • assists patients in completing paperwork
  • ensures patients understand that SWITCH is a student-managed clinic and that patients will be seen by students under the supervision of health care professionals
  • provides childcare and facilitates children’s’ activities
  • participates in educational activities for students hosted by mentors, staff or other students
  • are invited to take part in clinical activities where it is seen as appropriate by the mentors/staff and where it falls within the student’s scope of practice

CLINICAL TEAM (Categories B, C, D)

  • teams are interprofessional
  • teams assess the patient’s concern(s) through the appropriate means; history or physical exam, etc.
  • teams collaborate with mentors and staff to decide an appropriate course of action; referrals, treatments, counseling
  • teams are responsible for proper charting, lab requisitions and seeing that patient follow-up procedures are properly followed


  • responsible for assigning the clinical teams for the shift
  • responsible for assigning patients to an appropriate clinical team
  • is the administrative representative for SWITCH during the shift
  • facilitates the introduction and debrief sessions per shift
  • handles complaints of clients or personnel and directs them to the appropriate person
  • handles building or safety concerns

If you ever have any concerns while on a shift, please don’t hesitate to talk to the Shift Supervisor or the volunteer coordinator. If you have additional concerns, contact our executive director.

How to start volunteering

We’re so excited that you are keen to volunteer at SWITCH. Click on your respective university to see how to help us out.

University of Saskatchewan student
University of Regina student
Saskatchewan Polytechnic student

You must complete 3 shifts as a category A volunteer in order to volunteer on our clinical team.

We are very low on volunteers in the summer. We are asking that more community members throughout Saskatoon volunteer at SWITCH. So, please ask your friends and family if they would like to engage in a unique volunteer opportunity by becoming a SWITCHer! We request that community members attend a 4 hour orientation, provide a CPIC and a letter of reference.


How to Sign Up for Shifts

SWITCH uses an online self-scheduling system for volunteers and mentors. Once oriented, you will be able to sign up for shifts up to 24 hours before it starts.

*Please note, an email will be sent to you that provides you with a login (email address) and password. Once you log in the first time you can change your password. If you have not received this email, please contact the volunteer coordinator.

Step by step instructions signing up for a shift:

  1. Go to the SWITCH website and click “Scheduler” at the top right-hand side of the page.
  2. Use the email address you gave SWITCH at orientation and your password to log in.
  3. Once you log in, you will be able to click onto SWITCH shifts shown on the Calendar to sign up.
  4. Click on the date you want to sign up and a window will pop up.
  5. Click on the Category you wish to schedule yourself under and then hit “Register!”
  6. Once clicked, your name will below in the list below “Registered Volunteer.”

Can’t make a shift?
If for some reason you can not make it to a shift, you can use the functions on the SWITCH scheduler to trade with another user. Go back to where you signed up and click on your name and then it gives you the appropriate options.

You are accountable for the shift you have taken until someone else from your category takes it. This is very important, as SWITCH tries to make sure we are staffed appropriately every time we open our doors.

Upcoming orientations

Upcoming orientations

 Orientations are 4 hours in length and include a basic introduction to the West Side Community Clinic, a session on cultural competency, and information regarding scheduling and operation of the clinic. Orientations are located at the West Side Community Clinic (1528 20th Street W) and will be held on shift.

There are a maximum number of people that can sign up for orientation so save your spot today! Email the Volunteer Coordinator at meaghan.hackinen@switchclinic.ca Make sure to include your name, college, year and contact information.

We are very low on volunteers in the summer. We are asking that more community members throughout Saskatoon volunteer at SWITCH. So, please ask your friends and family if they would like to engage in a unique volunteer opportunity by becoming a SWITCHer! We request that community members attend a 4 hour orientation, provide a CPIC and a letter of reference.


Next orientations are:

Monday, May 1st: 5:00 – 8:00 PM

Monday, May 29th: 5:00 – 8:00 PM


Clinical Orientations must be completed before you volunteer on the clinical team.  Orientations are on shift, and will be 2 hours long.

Next clinical orientation is:

Saturday, April 22nd: 1:00 – 2:30 PM

Saturday, May 13th: 1:00 – 2:30 PM


Please keep checking our website for new orientation times.



Mental Health Training sessions are mandatory for social work and clinical psychology students before they can volunteer on the clinical team.  Mental health training is also open to any clinical team members to take.

Next Mental Health Training Session is:


Please keep checking our website for new session times.


Volunteer Opportunities

Being a volunteer at SWITCH is extremely rewarding all on its own. However, if you’re looking for ways to branch out, look no further than here.

Volunteer Commitment 
You can be a part-time or all-the-time volunteer at SWITCH. Depending on where you are in school, you will be either a part of the Outreach Team or Clinical Team. Find out how you get started here.

Educational Programming

Programming is perfect for you if you:

  • have lots of great ideas
  • you are not a student or you just recently graduated
  • don’t have a lot of time on your hands

Please contact our program coordinator if you are interested in getting involved.

Shift Supervisors
Shift Supervisors keep our clinic running smoothly every shift and know SWITCH better than anyone else. If you want to show your leadership skills, this will be perfect for you. Contact our Volunteer Coordinator if you are keen on trying this out.

Board of Directors
SWITCH’s Board of Directors meets monthly to discuss the details that go on at the clinic. We organize upcoming events, iron out any issues, and brainstorm new ideas to improve SWITCH. Council is truly rewarding and is fantastic on giving you a behind-the-scenes view of a non-profit. Contact the volunteer coordinator is you feel like you would be a good fit on SWITCH’s Board of Directors.

Special Events Committee
This committee is responsible for planning and executing all of SWITCH’s community and fundraising events (including our Women’s Pamper Night, Art Auction, Zombie Run, and Charity Breakfast). If you would like more information or are interested in joining this committee, please contact our Program Coordinator.

Community Outreach Committee
This committee is responsible for representing SWITCH at community events/activities to increase awareness of our organization.  We also strive to create new relationships with other like-minded organizations in the city and strengthen our existing partnerships. If you would like more information or are interested in joining this committee, please contact our Community Portfolio Board Member.

Student Recruitment & Retention Committee



SWITCH is always looking to update our student volunteer testimonials for use in our Annual Report and promotional documents. Testimonials could include statements about: what SWITCH means to you, how SWITCH has impacted your life (professionally, academically, personally, etc), what you have learned and/or experienced while at SWITCH, or anything else that you’d like to say…

If you would like to provide a testimonial, please email info@switchclinic.ca and indicate that you are a student volunteer as well as if you’d like your name to be included with your statement or if you’d prefer it to say “anonymous”.


“The SWITCH community is a way to share our humanity. Relationships with other students, mentors, and clients turn into a channel for me to learn. Over the course of many hours at SWITCH, I’ve learned lessons on the complex and multifaceted barriers that come with poverty, as well as wild game meat, making bannock, the social services system, how different health professionals are trained, and best of all, people’s stories. SWITCH is truly one of the loves of my life.”     – Megan, student volunteer

“SWITCH teaches me so much more than a student can learn from reading a textbook.”     – Anonymous, student volunteer

“Being a volunteer at SWITCH is so fulfilling and so much fun. Never a dull moment!”     – Anonymous, student volunteer

“SWITCH has truly changed my life.  Through volunteering I was able to determine what sort of career I wanted with the health care system, learned about the health disparities within the core neighbourhoods of Saskatoon, and was able to learn and practice within an inter-professional health setting. My time at SWITCH has truly empowered me.”     – Alixe, student volunteer