Around 55 million people die each year worldwide, and the number is expected to grow as the population is aging at an accelerated rate. Coping with the end of life can be hard for terminally ill patients and their families and friends. That’s why hospice volunteers are needed around the country.
What are hospice workers, and what do they do? Read on to learn.
What Are Hospice Volunteers?
Hospice volunteers work with patients in hospice care to provide them with emotional support. Depending on the situation, these volunteers may pop in for friendly visits to offer music enrichment, massage therapy, pet therapy, or hairstyling services.
Some work with the hospice team to complete administrative duties like sewing memory bears or pillows. A hospice volunteer’s goal is to enrich the patient care experience for those who are terminally ill.
These volunteers’ importance is extreme as they provide a sense of normality to patients, family, and friends. They often connect with patients on a personal level to impact the level of comfort.
These programs are federally mandated, and hospice volunteers must contribute at least 5% of the total patient care hours. These are the hours provided by contract staff and the hospice team.
Hospice volunteers may go through training before beginning service. Training helps volunteers prepare for administrative duties and direct assistance of the patient and their family.
Hospice programs will have their own training program, but most follow a few essential steps. For example, volunteers will be trained on hospice philosophy of care, knowing boundaries, needs of the patient, and the services an organization provides.
It is also essential for them to learn proper communication skills to assist families with grief and loss. They will get training on patient health information privacy as well.
Common Hospice Volunteer Traits
Personality is a huge part of what makes hospice volunteers unique. Even with this uniqueness, there are common traits that hospice volunteers have.
For one, they have an unmatched spirit that helps them understand others even as they are at the end of life. These volunteers will also respect others’ cultural customs and religious views to make patients comfortable with their passing.
One of the most important traits a hospice volunteer has is their ability to understand personal limits. These individuals can listen, talk yet be comfortable in silence.
Hospice Volunteering Types
There are two categories of hospice volunteers: direct care and indirect care. Direct care volunteers work with patients and their families directly, while indirect care workers assist the organization with office and administrative tasks.
If you want to become a hospice volunteer, click here now.
Want to Join the Hospice Team?
Hospice volunteers complete essential roles in the community to help those at the end of their lives. Suppose you want to join the hospice team, whether directly or indirectly; check out local hospice organizations. As a hospice volunteer, you can impact the lives of patients and your own.
If you like what you’ve read, check out our other blog posts.