The Heart of Hospice: Our Volunteers
Volunteers have always been the heart of hospice, and this still holds true at Hospice of the North Coast. Volunteers are people from all walks of life. Many have personally experienced the support of hospice services, while some are drawn by the simple desire to help others.
Volunteers commit their time and talent in a variety of ways. Volunteers support patients and families, provide administrative support, function as community liaisons, participate in special events and fundraising activities, staff our resale shop and provide support to patients, families and staff at Pacifica House.
Direct Patient Support
Patient Care Volunteers
Patient care volunteers work directly with patients and their families. At a time when patients and families feel isolated, a volunteer’s presence can do more for them than a thousand kind words. As a member of the collaborative care hospice team, the volunteer can provide companionship, emotional support, assistance with light errands, letter writing, and reading to the patient. They provide a means of respite for the family and more often than not, just lend a compassionate ear when it’s needed.
Vet to Vet Volunteers
Vet to Vet Volunteers are also patient care volunteers. However, the Vet to Vet program aims to match volunteers who are veterans or active duty military to share some time with patients who have also served our country. Regardless of the branch of service, there is a natural bond that is forged from common language and experience, and from the knowledge of sacrifices made in service of our country. Vet to Vet volunteers complete the same requirements, orientation, and training as patient care volunteers.
One Year Rule
We ask everyone to wait for at least one year after experiencing a loss or are currently dealing with someone who is critically ill, before applying to provide direct patient support. We have found that it takes this long to live with one’s own grief before truly being able to help others. You may want to consider serving in an organization support position (specifically our auxiliary, resale, events and special projects).
No One Dies Alone Volunteers
This special group of volunteers sit at the bedside of patients who have no family or loved ones and offer companionship in their final hours.
Integrative Therapy Volunteers
Our therapy volunteers enhance the care of our patients by offering a variety of special therapies including Massage, Reiki, Music, Aroma and Pet Therapy.
Massage is the practice of soft tissue manipulation, (muscles and connective tissue). Massage has shown to be helpful in reducing pain and joint stiffness, reduce edema and to promote relaxation and well-being.
Reiki teachings claim that there is an inexhaustible, universal “life force” or spiritual energy that can be used to induce a healing effect. Reiki is described as a holistic therapy which brings about healing on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels. The belief is that the energy will flow through the practitioner’s hands whenever the hands are placed on, or held near a recipient.
For centuries music has been used to soothe and comfort. Today the age-old tradition of utilizing music to enhance the quality of life continues at Hospice of the North Coast. Music volunteers create a healing environment; to soothe mind, body and spirit of those facing the challenges of a terminal illness.
Aromatherapy is a complementary therapy that uses essential oils and other aromatic compounds. It can be useful in reducing stressful symptoms of pain, anxiety, agitation, depression, grief, nausea and insomnia. It can be a complement to massage therapy.
Pet therapy offers psychological benefits in terms of emotional connection, stress reduction and reduced feelings of loneliness or isolation for our patients and families. Pets are certified as pet therapy animals and owners must complete all criteria for patient care volunteers. We invite those who have a certified pet therapy dog to share companionship, socialization and unconditional love.
Trainings for these positions are ongoing and on-the-job.
Administrative & Office Support Volunteers
Administrative & office support volunteers work in our business office and provide invaluable assistance with many of our office functions such as data entry, light typing, answering phones, mailings and other special projects. Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30-5:00 at 2525 Pio Pico Drive in Carlsbad.
Receptionist/front office support volunteers also provide assistance at our in-patient Pacifica House at 4411 Park Drive in Carlsbad.
Resale Shop Volunteers
Resale Shop Volunteers assist with customer purchases, cashiering, pricing, sorting and processing donated merchandise to support the day-to-day operations of our resale shop. The Resale Shop is located at 278-B North El Camino in the Home Goods Center in Encinitas. If you are interested in joining our team of shop volunteers, please contact the Resale Shop at 760.943.9921.
Community Outreach Volunteers
Outreach volunteers love to meet new people and share their passion about HNC with others in our community. A variety of opportunities are available throughout the year for volunteers to spread the word at health fairs and other events, as well as through other community outreach opportunities.
Remember Me Bear Volunteers
Those with a talent for sewing create cherished bears that provide comfort and support during bereavement and beyond.
Special Project Volunteers
Needed during various times of the year, special project volunteers work on a variety of projects ranging from special holiday projects to helping with our annual healing events. If you like variety and are available only on an intermittent basis, this may be the place for you.
We hope to hear from you soon!