Hospice volunteers play a vital role in hospice care organizations with their administrative work and helping hospice organizations provide a high level of patient care. If you are planning on volunteering for any hospice organization then continue reading this to get a clear idea about what being a hospice volunteer entails.
Before you begin your services as a hospice volunteer, you’ll be given training. This training session includes a briefing of hospice’s philosophy and goal, comprehensive overview of the services the hospice care provides, ways to effectively communicate with patients and care givers, overview if patient health and information privacy and an overview of appropriate boundaries between volunteers, patients and families. The duration of this training can vary depending on what role you’ll be taking as a hospice volunteer.
Hospice volunteering can be categorized in patient care, administrative volunteering, arts and special skills volunteering, therapy volunteering and many other categories.
As a patient care hospice volunteer, you might be required to travel to the place where the patient currently lives. This could be patient’s home, a nursing home or any care facility. Volunteers are not required to provide any medical or specialized care they are simply there to spend time with the patient and give them company. Other tasks that a patient care hospice volunteer does include grocery shopping, preparing meals for the patient, helping with simple chores around the house, taking the patients to their doctor appointments etc. This type of volunteering is perfect for compassionate and empathetic people.
Administrative hospice volunteers do a number of tasks and help in the hospice organization’s office. These tasks may include responding to emails, answering phone calls, assisting with fundraising and other campaigns, helping with data entry and other clerical duties. If you have previously worked in an office or have skills that are required for this type of volunteering then this would be a good choice for you.
Arts and special skills hospice volunteers provide entertainment to the patient. If you know any skills like playing an instrument, singing, painting etc. then this would be a good choice for you. Many hospice patients love listening to live music. You can bring your own instrument and play your favorite tunes or ask the patient for any special requests. This can be therapeutic to the patient.
As a therapy hospice volunteer you can do a lot of tasks like pet therapy, psychological therapy or even massage therapy if you are a certified massage therapist. Cuddling with a pet has many proven benefits like reducing stress and increasing levels of comfort. If you have a pet that is good at socializing with new people then you can bring your pet to the patient or join pet programs. If you have a psychology degree and are trained then you can use your skills to provide hospice therapy to patients who are depressed or need your help. Same is the case if you are a certified massage therapist. There are a lot of hospice organizations that look for volunteers who can give massages or perform other therapies that relax the patients.
Hospice volunteers are truly compassionate people who generously give their time to patients who are at the end of their lives.