Looking for a meaningful way to volunteer and support our community? Have you even considered providing support for people with terminal illness and their families? You can receive the training you need through a comprehensive course offered by the Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties’ Hospice program. This 10-week course, which starts March 20, will be held on Wednesdays from 1:30 to 4 pm at the VNA Main Office, 1110 Prim Road in Colchester.
Registration is open and runs until March 8. The $25 fee covers materials and snacks. For those who wish to volunteer at the VNA, there will be a required orientation session on the 11th week following the training course.
Dr. Paula Fives-Taylor is a long-time VNA hospice volunteer and one of the instructors for the hospice volunteer training. Paula shared, “I strongly feel it’s a privilege to be with someone at the end of their life. We celebrate birth, weddings, and birthdays but death is also part of that continuum.” This curriculum, presented in a safe and supportive environment, features topics including: Introduction to Hospice and Palliative Care, Patient and Family Unit of Care, Communication, and Grief and Bereavement. Each session begins with a presentation on a topic and continues with a facilitated small group discussion.
“The hospice volunteer training is invaluable,” says Erica Marks, Hospice Volunteer Coordinator at the VNA. “It really helps people think about their feelings toward death and helps them be more prepared for decisions that they face with family members as well as for themselves.”
For more information on the spring hospice volunteer training, contact Hospice Volunteer Coordinators Daniel Wilds or Erica Marks at 860-4411 or visit www.vnacares.org/volunteer.