Hospice volunteers are unpaid workers who have donated their time and resources to support hospice patients, caregivers, and staff. They are an essential part of a well-run hospice program. Hospice volunteers may do a number of important tasks that range from assisting in office work to vigiling at a dying patient's bed side. Because a hospice agency needs many volunteers to succeed, there are plenty of jobs for volunteers to do that utilize an individual's talents and skills.
The Many Jobs of a Hospice Volunteer
Some services a hospice agency can offer are based solely on the types of people they have volunteering and their personal talents and skills. For example, a hospice agency that has certified massage therapists and beauticians volunteering will be able to offer those services to their patients whereas an agency without these types of volunteers won't.
Below is a list of just some of the many jobs a hospice volunteer may do:
- Administrative work - making photo copies, filing paperwork, assembling admission packets, etc.
- Social visits - visiting patients at their place of residence to offer them companionship and support.
- Caregiver relief - assuming care of a patient for a couple of hours to allow the caregiver time for a break.
- Massage therapy - certified massage therapists may offer various types of massage to patients. Some agencies also sponsor staff appreciation days with free mini-massages for hospice staff.
- Reiki therapy - reiki practitioners apply principles of natural healing in the form of energy transfer. This type of therapy is gaining popularity in the palliative care population.
- Beautician/barber services - licensed beauticians and barbers may donate their services to patients in the patient's home setting. This is an especially helpful service for patients who cannot make it to a salon or barber shop.
- Aromatherapy - trained aromatherapists use scents to aid in relaxation and pain relief. Some hospice agencies offer aromatherapy training for their volunteers.
- Pet companions - pets that are trained and certified companions can be taken to patients homes, nursing facilities, or inpatient hospice facilities to provide companionship and pure pleasure to hospice patients.
There may be other duties for hospice volunteers, depending on the agency's needs, the skills of hospice volunteers, and the needs of patients and families. No matter what skills you possess, a good hospice agency will find some way to use them.