Volunteers serve in many ways. Hospice & Palliative Care of Main Line Health HomeCare & Hospice depends on its Volunteers. Hospice Volunteers act as family members, assisting in various areas of patient and family care.
Our hospice volunteers
- Are valued members of the interdisciplinary team
- Listen to the patient’s and family’s concerns
- Keep the patient company
- Offer support to the patient and family
- Provide a link to the hospice staff
- Run errands for the patient
- Participate in the experiences of the patient and family through the patient’s final days
- Make a difference because they enjoy helping those in need
Commitment of time
Hospice relies on its volunteers. Therefore, a commitment of their time is required. After completing the training, we request that our volunteers give at least three hours each week to our patients.
Volunteers are required to complete an initial 22 hours of training.
Training sessions cover the following topics:
- The hospice concept
- Policies and procedures
- Pain control
- Communication and listening skills
- Understanding the basics of diseases and their treatments
- The needs of dying patients and their families
- Hands-on care of the patient
- Spiritual concerns
- Understanding bereavement
- The grief process
- Documentation and referrals
Volunteers may choose to support families through the bereavement period. There are additional classes that focus on this helpful, supportive service. Bereavement support may include telephone or personal contact with bereaved family members.
Who supports the volunteer?
A Volunteer Coordinator is always available for encouragement and supervision. Peer group meetings are scheduled monthly, where volunteers meet with their colleagues to review cases, talk about issues and support one another.
Benefits of being a volunteer
- Satisfaction – knowing you make a difference
- Self-knowledge – better insight into yourself
- Spiritual growth – supporting another person through the process of dying
- Caring – focusing on the needs of another
- Emotional maturity – this is a rich, intense experience
- Commitment and dedication
- Respect and support