Roles, Responsibilities, Expectations

As a Medicare-certified hospice, we are mandated to include Volunteers as an important part of our organization. We are required to have at least 5% of our patient service hours provided by Volunteers.

Every year our Volunteers provide thousands of hours of service for our patients. The value of time is priceless in the eyes of our patients and their families.

Volunteer tasks can be patient related or non-patient related.

Patient related activities:

  • Visit with the patient to provide support and a listening ear.
  • Assist with letter writing or other projects.
  • Help write or record the patient’s life story.
  • Stay with the patient so that caregivers can take a break.
  • Read to the patient, or join them in watching a favorite TV program.
  • Play games with the patient.
  • Sing or play music.

Non-patient care activities:

  • Assist with clerical tasks in the office.
  • Assist with special events.
  • Use your talents to support hospice families. Examples including knitting blankets or making “memory quilts” using a patient’s clothing. or example, knitting blankets, making “memory quilts” using a patient’s clothing)

A hospice Volunteer will not be asked to:

  • Give medications.
  • Provide direct patient care, such as bathing or changing linens.
  • Make any medical decisions.
  • Do anything they don’t feel comfortable or qualified to do.

There are certain qualities that many of our Volunteers possess that help them to be effective in their role. Hospices of the Chesapeake volunteers are:

  • Empathetic, compassionate, non-judgmental and patient.
  • Comfortable with a wide variety of people.
  • Skilled at listening and putting others at ease.
  • Able to care for their own emotional, physical and spiritual needs, including asking for support when needed.
  • Dependable, flexible and able to adapt to the evolving needs and requirements of clients, the program and the agency.

Every Volunteer receives training prior to joining the Hospice of the Chesapeake team. Our self-paced online trainings explore the physical, social, emotional and spiritual aspects of caring for a patient with an advanced illness. The training sessions include topics such as services provided by Hospice of the Chesapeake, understanding the Hospice philosophy of care, knowing the boundaries when interacting with patients and families, communicating with patients and families, grief and loss, infection control, privacy and regulatory issues.

Additional training is provided for Volunteers who choose to provide more specialized services.

Following the training, Volunteers are asked to make a minimum one year commitment, complete at least 60 hours of service and report on visits and phone calls using progress notes provided by the Volunteer Services team.


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