Become a Hospice Volunteer
What is hospice care?
Hospice care is specially designed to provide comfort and support for terminal patients and their families, helping individuals make the most of each day. The hospice healthcare team at UPMC Susquehanna understands the complex dynamics for providing quality end-of-life care. We set out to comprehensively meet the needs of a patient physically, mentally, emotionally, interpersonally and spiritually when a patient’s illness is incurable, shifting the focus of care to comfort and quality of life. Hospice volunteers play a vital role in our hospice program and can help in a variety of ways.
What do hospice volunteers do?
Working as a hospice volunteer can be a very rewarding experience. There are many ways to volunteer in hospice such as sharing companionship, to running errands, to providing much-needed respite for caregivers. Opportunities include:
- Reading/writing letters
- Running errands
- Performing light housekeeping
- Helping with activities/hobbies
- Preparing a meal
- Companionship/talking with the patient
- Providing respite for the caregivers
- Play cards, put together puzzles, and reminisce
- Pray to patients requesting spiritual support
- Comfort patients in our Last Moments bedside vigil program
- Support staff in the Gatehouse inpatient hospice unit by sitting with patients or loved ones who are visiting
- Participate in the We Honor Veterans program with vet-to-vet visits and pinning ceremonies
- Help patients collect memories via scrapbook, recipe books, videos, letters
- Play comforting music for patients
- Participate in bereavement support: Heartworks children and teen bereavement support group, or assist with phone calls or writing letters to bereaved loved ones
- Assist with office support
- Become involved with the Gatehouse Singers group
Volunteers enable us to provide services we could not otherwise. Providing a listening ear and friendly conversation can open the path for people to talk honestly about their questions, concerns, and fears.
How do I become a volunteer?
Hospice volunteers learn to help patients face the emotional, and spiritual preparations they need to make. attend a specifically designed hospice training program learning from each of our interdisciplinary team members the skills they will need.
Training and Support in:
- Comprehension of Hospice and Palliative Care
- Patient and Family Rights
- Importance of Communication, Listening, and Boundaries
- Aspects of Death and Stages of Grief
- Physical and Emotional Self Care]
- Spiritual Considerations at End of Life
- Safety Precautions and HIPAA Regulations
- Roles of our Interdisciplinary Team
Volunteer minimum requirements:
- Volunteers must be 16 years or older
- Must complete specific training class held twice a year (Typically in Spring & Fall)
- Clearances required: Criminal Background, Child Abuse, FBI Fingerprinting
- Commit to at least one year of serving
About Hospice at UPMC Susquehanna
Hospice at UPMC Susquehanna provides compassionate support for patients/families,top-quality patient care through symptom management, personal care (e.g, hygiene,dressing), bereavement counseling and spiritual care. Our care team works with each patient’s family physician to facilitate physician orders, relay information, manage equipment, prescriptions and symptoms so patients can focus on spending time comfortably at home with their loved ones. UPMC Susquehanna Hospice staff and volunteers befriend patient sand always treat them with the utmost professionalism and respect. We currently cover patients throughout Lycoming and Tioga Counties as well as nearby surrounding areas.
UPMC Susquehanna provides a variety of opportunities for hospice volunteers in Williamsport and Wellsboro, PA, the surrounding areas. Contact us today.