Patient Advocacy Volunteer in Emergency Research Services


PAVERS is a patient advocacy volunteer program in which participants gain patient interaction experience and learn about medicine through emergency department observation, possible assistance with research, and a series of lectures. Participants act as volunteers within the emergency department, assisting patients, physicians, and nurses. PAVERS occasionally participate in the research projects being conducted in the Department of Emergency Medicine by collecting data from patients. In doing this, PAVERS enroll patients into research studies in which the patients answer a series of simple questions. The studies are undertaken within the emergency department in order to promote socially responsible medicine and to study basic human issues in medical care. Highly motivated volunteers may have additional future research opportunities. It should be noted that PAVERS should expect the majority of their time in the program interacting with patients and Emergency Department staff.

In order to be considered for the PAVERS program, candidates must submit an online application form at the bottom of this page. After applications are received, some applicants will be granted interviews. Please read all the information and policies before you apply, as PAVERS has become an increasingly competitive program and requires a substantial commitment from volunteers.


PAVERS volunteers rotate in the Emergency Department. Participants have shifts in Adult Emergency Services, Pediatric Emergency Services and Urgent Care.


PAVERS are required to commit to volunteering for a minimum of one academic year (two semesters). PAVERS does not take place during the summer. The time commitment is two four-hour daytime shifts per week, or one eight-hour overnight shift every week (open to returning PAVERS, or after one term of involvement), plus one three-hour monthly meeting. Due to undergraduate schedules, monthly meetings typically occur on Fridays. In general, the following blocks of time are available for volunteer shifts seven days per week:

Four-hour shifts : 8am-12pm, 12pm-4pm, 4pm-8pm, 8pm-12am
Eight-hour shifts : 12am-8am

Please consider that all rules and attendance requirements for the program will be strictly enforced. Failure to abide by the rules will result in participants termination from the program. Shift requirements are subject to change.


One of the possible other tasks of a PAVER is to assist with ongoing Department of Emergency Medicine research studies. These research studies, some of which go on to be published in medical journals, are created and directed by Departmental faculty and resident physicians. Each study explores a different topic, but all share a common goal of gaining a better understanding of medical and social issues affecting Bellevue Hospital Center emergency patients.

The knowledge gained from participation in research study provides insight into basic human issues concerning patients, and offers answers about how to improve patients' experiences in the emergency department. In addition, information from certain studies can also be used in order to seek grants. The money from these grants is directed toward meeting the specific needs of Bellevue's emergency patients.

Application Process

The application to the PAVERS program is now open. The application process is described here.

Should you have any questions, please email Anthony Orneta at