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Volunteer Program

Make an Impact

At St. Martin High Desert, we cannot do what we do without volunteers. You are vital to achieving our vision of enhancing the quality of living for those facing the final phases of life and to supporting those who love them. As a volunteer, you will be making a difference to patients who have been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, directly as a Patient and Family Volunteer or indirectly by serving as a volunteer in a number of other capacities.

Why are hospice volunteers needed?

Volunteers are most often perceived by hospice patients as just ordinary people from the community. As a result of this relationship, volunteers are able to help normalize the hospice experience for patients and families. This is very beneficial to the hospice team because volunteers are able to spend more time with patients and their families, providing an increased involvement in putting them at ease and gaining their trust. This often allows the volunteer to gain deeper insights into the patient’s ongoing experience with their hospice care and thus provide very valuable feedback to the clinical team.

What do hospice volunteers do?

SMHD volunteers have a range of opportunities to share their time and talents in a patient’s home, in the office, or in the community. Volunteers may provide assistance in our ancillary and office activities as well as indirect patient care services, and/or help patients and families with household chores, shopping, transportation, and companionship. We are also permitted to use volunteers in non-administrative and non-direct patient care activities, although these services are not considered when calculating the level of the activity described in the standard of care.

How to become a SMHD Volunteer

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer is welcome to contact our administrative staff during normal business hours and be directed to the Volunteer Coordinator. The Volunteer Coordinator helps coordinate care and place volunteers in the appropriate setting. In order to do this, interviews will be conducted to find qualified individuals to provide care. Background checks and CPR cards are required to ensure proper care and safety for our team and patients.

Types of Volunteers

  • Volunteer: Individuals, without compensation or expectation of compensation beyond reimbursement, performs a task at the direction of and on behalf of SMHD. Volunteers must be at least 15 years of age.

  • Patient Volunteer: A patient volunteer is an individual who has completed 20 hours of classroom training and mentoring to provide direct support to individuals with life-limiting illness and their caregivers. Patient volunteers may complete their tasks in the individual’s home or at SMHD.

  • Bereavement Volunteer: Volunteers who have dedicated themselves to supporting the efforts of the bereavement program at SMHD. All bereavement volunteers receive 3 hours of specific training on the grief process and how to work with the newly bereaved. If you have recently, within the past six to twelve months, have had a recent loss, you will be screened prior to being trained to become a bereavement volunteer.

  • Hospice Teen Outreach Volunteers: Members are high-school age and volunteer individually and in groups to support SMHD directly by working inside the office, cleaning, cooking or transportation. These volunteers also take ownership of select group projects for which they will take responsibility.

Training needed

All volunteers are expected to attend the initial volunteer training and orientation, which will provide you with much of the information and policies as well as a tour of the office and our services.

  • Telephone and reception volunteers will spend several hours with a mentor that may be an experienced volunteer or team member to learn how the position works.

  • Those interested in being a patient volunteer or bereavement volunteer may need to complete more in-depth training relative to their roles.

Our goal is to ensure that our volunteers have a positive, productive, and rewarding volunteer experience with us.

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