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  Frequently Asked Questions

How much training do you have to go through to become a volunteer?

Hospice Volunteers participate in an intensive, free training course that focuses on hospice care and philosophy, psychological issues for families on death, diseases, family issues and dying, patient's physical care, communication skills, patients' rights and confidentiality, and setting boundaries. This course is compacted within one fast paced weekend, or on an individual level depending on the volunteer's background. Additional in-services are held quarterly for volunteers to help them say abreast of new information.

How much time are volunteers expected to give?
It varies depending on the type of work you have chosen to do and the amount of time you can give. In most cases, volunteers give at least 2 to 4 hours a week for administrative work or 2 to 8 hours a month when working with a family.

Would I work with more than one family at a time?
This also varies, depending on the volunteer and the type of relationship you have established with the family. Usually volunteers working with home patients have only one family at a time. Those working in the Inpatient facility often see more than one patient when they come to visit.

After a death of a patient, do volunteers get another assignment right away?
The death of anyone is hard on those who knew him/her and may become hard for a volunteer. If a volunteer has formed an attachment to a patient, he or she will be encouraged to take some time to grieve before starting with a new assignment. Our support services are also available for volunteers.

Do volunteers work pretty much on their own?
Volunteers work under the supervision of the Volunteer Coordinator. The Coordinator's door is always open for volunteers. Volunteers are encouraged to talk with other members of the Hospice Team such as clergy, social workers, and hospice nurses.

Is there a risk of burnout?
Burnout is a risk for anyone who works with dying patients. The Volunteer Coordinator is well aware of this risk and works with every volunteer to see that they do not take on more than they can feel comfortable handling. Support services are available to the volunteers if they feel a need to discuss issues concerning their assignment.

Call your local branch for more details



© Hospice Ministries, Inc. 2011