Volunteer FAQs 

  • Talbot Hospice volunteer training takes place twice a year in the spring and the fall. The comprehensive 16 hour training addresses a variety of end-of-life issues, including bereavement, the dying process, hands-on patient care and advance directives. Additional topics covered are hospice philosophy, attitudes and fears about death, spirituality, listening skills, setting boundaries, family dynamics, and cultural diversity. Talk to the Director of Volunteers, Lori Lantz, if you have questions about training.

  • For the safety of all staff and families, background checks are performed on all volunteers. Volunteers are considered an integral part of the interdisciplinary hospice team and although unpaid, are considered members of the staff. Other requirements include:
    - Hepatitis Record of Inoculation (or you can sign a waiver to decline)
    - Auto Insurance Proof
    - Copy of Driver’s License
    - Copy of MVA Record
    - PPD Test (Tuberculosis)
    - Two Letters of Recommendation

  • Some volunteers work a regular 4 hour schedule every week while others may volunteer just for certain projects or events. There is no minimum or maximum of hours required; we will place you where you are most comfortable. You may also increase or decrease your volunteer hours according to your personal needs.

  • From assisting with our gardens to offering clerical help to the staff, there are numerous possibilities for those who want to volunteer at Talbot Hospice. Volunteers may offer help writing for publications or organizing files for our bereavement program. We have volunteers who assist with household chores from changing light bulbs to maintaining our hummingbird feeders. The sky is the limit!

  • All volunteers will be placed in a supported environment and will not be left alone without guidance. Our patient care volunteers work right alongside our certified nursing assistants in the Hospice House. Our bereavement volunteers work with our licensed bereavement coordinator. Clerical volunteers are often in the same room as the staff member they are assisting.

  • We welcome volunteers of all ages! All that is needed is a desire to serve. We like to say that our youngest volunteers are two years of age and come from the local preschool where they decorate beautiful white paper angels with glitter that hang in the hallway at Hospice House during the holidays. On the other end of the spectrum we have a very active volunteer who works with patients at the tender age of 94!

  • Yes! Many of our volunteers travel or visit with family during the year. If you are only available for part of the year don’t let that stop you from offering your wonderful talents while you are at home in Talbot County. We welcome your help whenever it is convenient for you.

  • No, Talbot Hospice volunteers need to receive 16 hours of training before they can serve Talbot Hospice. The volunteers that put together the Festival of Trees work under a separate 501(c)(3) called The Friends of Hospice. These volunteers start planning in February for the festival which is held each year in November. The Festival of Trees has a board of directors and a well established corps of committees which oversee every aspect of this wonderful festival. There are over 850 volunteers who bring the magic to each year. You can volunteer for both Talbot Hospice and the Friends of Hospice. For more information please visit the Festival of Trees tab under our News and Events or go to

  • Yes. We work with the local private and public school systems and welcome students to help at Hospice House. Students often rake leaves, assist with large clerical projects, may assist with cleaning or organizing, play music in Hospice House and offer help with social media or computer related tasks. Students who would like to work with patients are required to take the volunteer training program.

  • We require that all volunteers keep track and submit their hours on a regular basis. A unique aspect of hospice care is that Medicare requires that five percent of services be provided by volunteers. This is in large part due to the fact that hospice was born out of a volunteer movement.

  • After volunteers have served at least 20 hours working directly with patients as a companion or caregiver they may elect to train as an end-of-life Doula. Interested volunteers should speak to the Director of Volunteers prior to attending the training. Doula training is provided once a year.

  • We are glad to accept transfer volunteers from other hospices. We will review your past training on an individual basis and determine how you might benefit from a refresher in-service or training.

  • Although everyone's situation is unique, as a general rule we ask that you wait at least a year after a significant loss before volunteering for Talbot Hospice.