Volunteering at a Hospice..Have you?

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  1. I've wanted to volunteer at a hospice for awhile, and after dealing with so much negativity in my life from my evil boyfriend I have decided I want to do something positive.

    Tonight at work this woman was crying so much as she walked out of the bathroom...

    And she started walking away and stopped....and was sobbing.

    So I went up to her to ask her if she was okay/needed someone to talk to but before I got close (I was walking up from behind) she started walking away and I didn't want to chase her, so I let her go.

    This made me really sad, to see someone else upset like that and it reminded me that I wanted to volunteer at hospice...and help people, so I am going to call tomorrow about it.

    I was wondering if anyone has volunteered at a hospice and how their experience was?

    Wow sorry my punctuation here is HORRIBLE. Forgive me.
  2. Ive been wanting to do charity work, there is an army centre near me for soldiers, injured in iraq and ive been thinking about doing work there, just reading, talking to them etc.

    wouldnt know how to approach doing this?

    I think that working in the hospice is a wonderful thing to do!
  3. Hospice needs many different types of volunteer positions: respite care for caregivers, doing errands, reading to patients, driving, helping in administrative tasks, etc. Call you local Hospice Center or the Pallliative Care Center of a local hospital and ask what you can do to help. I took the VNA Hospice Care Volunteer Course over 25 years ago. I am hoping to get involved again in the fall.
  4. I would love to get back to doing some volunteer work. I feel like I am torn in so many different directions right now but I know that is something I would genuinely enjoy. I am going to have to make the time even if it is only a few hours.
  5. I did a ton of volunteer work in college, and I second what shanam said - there are lots of ways to become involved at a hospice.

    Like any volunteer position, it can be very rewarding but it can also be heartbreaking so I think it's best to choose an organization near and dear to your heart. There are so many worthy organizations out there that any sort of group you feel a connection with will have a volunteer program for you, whether it's working with veterans, senior citizens, AIDS patients, battered women, homeless, animals, kids, special needs, Planned Parenthood, etc. All of these organizations need help and they welcome any skills you have, from general office work, planting trees, or coaching Special Olympics teams to serving food, organizing donations, or walking dogs.

    pink_swish, the best way to get involved with any organization is to just contact them. Their websites will often have a page about volunteer requirements/training/applications. If not, call their main phone number and ask to speak with the volunteer coordinator.
  6. I volunteered at a hospital, but I did clerical work. There are ALWAYS positions in which you do get to interact with patients face-to-face... or even play with children who are in the playroom!
  7. I know 2 men who volunteer for Hospice as a team. They visit and take patients on outings and it's very rewarding for them. It takes a special person to interact with those who are terminally ill. I wouldn't be able to do it, but God bless those who can.
  8. I do voluntary work but I could never work at a hospice. I just could not deal with people who were terminally ill, it would depress me too much! I am not the type of person who could leave it all behind me at home time! I have the greatest respecct for those who can do this work!
  9. I volunteer with an animal rescue, and I love it.
  10. I'm looking forward to volunteering at the hospital next year when I can start driving myself to and from the hospital after school. I will probably be scheduled for only 2 days a week because I am busy with school too
  11. I volunteered at a hospice for about 4-5 months. Bout 3 times a week.

    I helped move patients around and talked to them during transport. They'd be in wheelchairs and or hospital beds. It was fun just to talk to them. Just random stories sometimes. Haha!

    Some were delighted to have someone to talk to, while others were just grumpy. But all in all I would do it again.

    Hmmmm maybe I should.
  12. I have volunteered at a hospice once a week for the last year. I am going into nursing for either oncology or geriatrics and my best friend's mom passed away because of breast cancer so death is something I will become quite familiar with. It's a negative part of life we all have to deal with and volunteering at a hospice isn't for everyone because some people simply can't handle it. You'll also probably have to take a few classes where they 'train' you and show you how to handle situations and just brief you on what they want you to do. I personally really enjoy seeing/being/talking to the individuals there, and most of the time they just want someone to talk to. It's really fulfilling and a good experience.
  13. I tried volunteering at county usc hospital and have to say that I was really disappointed with the overall experience. I felt like I wasn't being used optimally. The administration didn't let the other volunteers and I interact with patients at all (which is why I wanted to volunteer in the first place). Instead, we changed bedsheets and delivered paperwork. I think I only lasted a day. Just be sure you know exactly what kind of volunteering you're getting in to!
  14. Volunteers in hospice are especially precious. Just being present for another at end of life is one of the greatest gifts. Hospice is about living, not dying. It is about appreciating each day, each breath. I am a hospice nurse and though there are deep philosophical discussions, tears and angst, there are more great memories, lots of laughter and sharing valuable time.

    Our volunteers receive extensive training. Some choose to work in the office, some make Teddy Bears for the bereaved, and most choose to spend time with patients. They are matched by personality and interests to make it enjoyable for all. We even have a team of volunteers who offer art projects for patients and their loved ones to be involved in. One of my favorites is a family tree made with hand prints from the entire family.

    Please volunteer. It is such a loving gift. You will receive far more than you could ever give.
  15. morbid... but i could easily see myself working at a funeral home. the people were so nice to family when my grandpa died and i would love to be able to do the same for people who are hurting because of a loss.