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Volunteer FAQs

Volunteer FAQs

  • Talbot Hospice volunteer training includes a comprehensive 16 hour training which 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. Volunteer roles that do not involve direct patient interaction require less 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 on a weekly basis, usually up to 4 hours per week, while others may volunteer just for certain projects or events. There is no minimum number of hours required. We will place you where you are most comfortable and 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!

  • Some volunteer roles involve working with staff and others offer more independence, but all volunteers are properly trained and only expected to do what they are comfortable doing.

  • We welcome volunteers of all ages! All that is needed is a desire to serve. Our youngest volunteers are school children who provide artwork throughout the year, and at the other end of the spectrum we have many volunteers in their eighties and some in their nineties!

  • 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 link under our calendar tab, or go to https://talbothospice.org/events/festival-of-trees-celebrates-35-years/.

  • 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 30 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 Volunteer Coordinator prior to attending the training.

  • 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.

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