Volunteers provide companionship to people living with a serious illness and help their family caregivers in a variety of ways. Hospice relies on volunteers to help with office work, fundraising and community outreach. Volunteers receive training to ensure they feel comfortable with their tasks.
Training programs generally cover the following areas:
As a volunteer you will be given options regarding how much time you can commit and what types of things you want to do. You may choose to work in the patient’s home or in the hospice house. Examples of typical volunteer duties include:
Each hospice program has its own policy regarding volunteer eligibility. Emotional maturity plays an important role in determining whether or not a person is ready to be placed in an environment that can be tense and emotional. A volunteer should be comfortable talking about death and dying and be able to approach these conversations in an open, direct and practical way. Most importantly, a volunteer must be committed and dedicated to their work with hospice.
An interview with a volunteer coordinator is your first step. He or she will want to know the following:
You will complete an application form and may also be asked to provide a current resume with references. You will also undergo a background check. To ensure volunteers are equipped for the challenge of working with those at the end-of-life, hospice requires extensive orientation and training sessions. It’s important that volunteers understand the history of hospice and are aware of the specific ways hospice works to serve the community. After you complete the training required, you will be ready for your volunteer work to begin.