Volunteers Complete Hospice Training

Compass Regional Hospice welcomes eight new patient care volunteers

CENTREVILLE —  Compass Regional Hospice held a three-day patient care volunteer training from May 1 to 3. Eight Kent County residents completed the training session, which was offered in Chestertown.

Completion of this training qualifies these volunteers to provide emotional support and practical assistance to hospice patients, families and caregivers in their homes, in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and in the residential hospice centers in Centreville, Chestertown and Denton.

Topics included an overview of hospice; the process of dying; spiritual care and its place in hospice care; the stages of grief; effective communications techniques; family dynamics; stress management; and self-care for caregivers.

Those who wish to provide direct patient care will be required to complete several additional hours with patients under the supervision of a Compass Regional Hospice clinical staff member. Volunteers who wish to be involved in providing grief support for hospice family members will work closely with staff from the Compass Regional Hospice support services team. Grief support roles include bereavement volunteers, vigil volunteers and grief support facilitators.

Courtney Williams, volunteer manager with Compass Regional Hospice, said being a patient care volunteer is similar to being a good neighbor, and volunteering is an opportunity to develop special relationships with patients, their families and caregivers.

“It is providing companionship. In many cases, our volunteers are helping caregivers to have some respite, or are visiting a patient who may not have many visitors and who might like some company — whether that is taking a walk or listening to music, or reading a book together,” Williams said.

Other volunteer needs with Compass Regional Hospice include administrative assistance; greeters at hospice center locations in Queen Anne’s, Kent and Caroline counties; assisting with events and outreach; being educational ambassadors for Compass Regional Hospice; and assisting with staffing needs at Estate Treasures, an upscale resale shop in Chester that is run entirely by volunteers.

Compass Regional Hospice relies on more than 300 volunteers of all ages to support its mission of “Care on your terms.” These individuals volunteer their time in a variety of ways. Whatever your motivation to volunteer, there is a place for you at Compass Regional Hospice.

The next patient care volunteer training session is scheduled for September in Centreville, with eight hours offered online and the remaining requirements offered through three evening classes; from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 11, 18 and 25. There also will be a three-day training offered from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 6 to 9 at the Caroline Hospice House, 613 S. 5th Ave., Denton.

For more information about becoming a volunteer for Compass Regional Hospice, contact Williams at 443-262-4112 or cwilliams@compassregionalhospice.org, or visit www.compassregionalhospice.org/volunteers to download the patient care volunteer training registration form.

Compass Regional Hospice – Care on your terms-Compass Regional Hospice is a fully licensed, independent, community-based nonprofit organization certified by Medicare and the state of Maryland, and accredited by the Joint Commission. Since 1985, Compass Regional Hospice has been dedicated to supporting people of all ages through the challenge of living with a life-limiting illness and learning to live following the death of a loved one. Today, the organization is a regional provider of hospice care and grief support in Queen Anne’s, Kent and Caroline counties. “Care on your terms” is the promise that guides staff and volunteers as they care for patients in private residences, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and the residential hospice centers in Centreville, Chestertown and Denton. Grief support services are offered to children, adults and families of patients who died under hospice care, as well as members of the community who are grieving the loss of a loved one through The Hope & Healing Center. For more information about Compass Regional Hospice, visit compassregionalhospice.org.

Cutline: Volunteers who recently completed patient care training are, from left, Cheryl Conaway-Dill of Chestertown, Michele Bennetta of Chestertown, Barbara Jacquette of Chestertown, Nancy Toy of Chestertown, Janet Davis of Worton, Pat Holland of Chestertown, Barbara Stanton of Church Hill and Cynda Pittcock of Chestertown.