Why are volunteers so important at Hospice of Michigan?
Hospice of Michigan volunteers are an integral part of the hospice team. Volunteers provide clients, caregivers and family members with physical and emotional support during this important and stressful time. Caregiving for the terminally ill loved one can be exhausting. Volunteers assist the caregiver by providing opportunities to get away for a needed break
How long is the training?
Volunteers are required to attend Hospice Volunteer training. The training is 12 hours for volunteers who want to work directly with patients and families and four hours for people who want to help HOM in other ways, such as office work, or special events. The complete training is suggested for everyone so you will have an overall understanding of the hospice philosophy and Hospice of Michigan.
What is covered in the training?
During training, the volunteer will receive instruction in the roles of the hospice team members. Team members include the patient’s physician, hospice physician, nurse, social worker, spiritual care counselor, home health aide, grief support counselor, along with the trained volunteers. The role of the volunteer will be discussed and explained so that each individual can make their own decision about what kind of volunteer work they would like to provide.
Do I have to go through the whole training if I am not interested in working directly with clients, but would rather donate my time to administrative work?
People interested in doing only administrative volunteering can complete the four hours of training needed for clerical volunteering, but we do suggest they go through the entire training process. This extra training not only provides volunteers with better understanding of how patients are treated, it also ensures that if they ever decide to do patient care, they can begin immediately.
Other than direct client care how else may I be of service as a Hospice volunteer?
Hospice of Michigan has a need for volunteers to work in our office, help with fundraisers, assist with our marketing and mailing efforts, assist with grief support groups, do public speaking, or to offer special skills that may benefit our organization and clients, such as computer skills, sewing, home improvements or hair styling.
How much volunteer time will I be obligated to give after training?
There are no set schedules at HOM regarding volunteer hours. It all depends on the needs of our teams and the availability of the volunteer. Volunteer services are flexible enough to work around most schedules. You decide on the hours you are willing and able to give.
Two to four hours a week is encouraged.
Do I ever have to take care of a client’s physical needs?
Our volunteers tell us what they are willing to do or not do when it comes to client care. We want our volunteers to be comfortable and confident when it comes to the interaction and care of our clients. Each volunteer will decide with the assistance of the Volunteer Services Manager what tasks will work best for them.
As a new volunteer what kind of support will be available to me?
Each team has a Volunteer Services Manager who is responsible for training, supervising, supporting and scheduling the volunteers. The hospice staff is also available to the volunteer by phone or in the office. There are also volunteer support group meetings, educational in-services, phone calls, newsletters and more to keep you connected. The new volunteer decides, along with staff, when they are ready to accept client assignments without supervision.
Will I ever be expected to be present when a client dies?
Being present at the death of a client is up to the volunteer and the patient/family. Hospice offers to be present at the time of death if the family requests this support. Volunteers who sit with a client during the death process are there strictly by choice.
What type of environment will I be working in?
Hospice attends to clients in a private home setting, nursing homes, hospitals, assisted living facilities and group homes. We attend to our clients wherever they live. If you are providing support other than patient care you will work out of the HOM office you choose as your home base.
Begin this wonderful new journey today by contacting the Hospice of Michigan Volunteer Service Manager at the office nearest you.