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Volunteer Training

The field of hospice palliative care is very specialized, and volunteers who receive adequate training feel more confident and comfortable.  As a volunteer, you do not need to be an expert, but you will become knowledgeable and equipped with the basic skills to assist our residents and community clients live life to the fullest.

Prospective volunteers complete an application form and an in-person interview, and attend a two hour Bethell Hospice information session.  Information session topics include the history of Bethell Hospice, an overview of programs and services, volunteer opportunities, and a tour.  As members of the Bethell Hospice team, all volunteers adhere to a confidentiality agreement and complete a vulnerable sector screening.

Volunteers complete a free, comprehensive training program, tailored to the specific environment of Bethell Hospice, and enjoy access to ongoing education opportunities.  Kitchen and Resident Support Volunteers also complete a two hour food handling course.  Volunteers providing Direct Client Support (Grief & Bereavement Support, In-Home Visiting & Resident Support Volunteers, as well as Holistic Therapy Practitioners) also complete an additional Hospice Palliative Care Ontario training program.

Training consists of a combination of in-class sessions and online modules to be completed over the course of several weeks.  Depending on the group’s availability, in-class sessions may be scheduled during the day or evening.

Topics covered in training include:

  • Introduction to Hospice Palliative Care
  • Role of the Volunteer & Understanding Professional Boundaries
  • Communication
  • Pain & Symptom Management
  • Understanding the Dying Process
  • Spirituality
  • Grief & Bereavement
  • Care for the Caregiver
  • Family
  • Psychosocial Issues & Impact of Illness
  • Cultural Considerations
  • Ethics
  • Infection Prevention & Control

At the completion of their training, new volunteers shadow a more experienced volunteer for two or three shifts.

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