The vigil volunteer program is designed to keep vigil with patients and families during the dying process. A hospice vigil volunteer is one of Heartland's most special and fulfilling opportunities. Support may involve prayer (reading from the Bible or other material that is comforting for patient), providing respite to family (allowing them to step away and grab a bite to eat/take a break) or simply being present...providing comfort and peace of mind to all that the patient is not alone. Vigil volunteers, in collaboration with the hospice team, can help provide the patient with the most valuable gift - a loving presence.
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Our vigil volunteer program is more of an "on-call" opportunity; vigil support is based upon request of patient's family or care-giving team. Scheduling of vigil takes into consideration the volunteer's location and availability.
Applicants must attend an orientation to learn about the philosophy of hospice, the role of a vigil volunteer, and skills related to caring for and communicating with hospice patients and their families. Emphasis is on providing comfort during the dying process. Requirements for vigil volunteers: 18 years of age or older, complete two TB tests, must agree to background and reference check, must be appropriately coping with any personal losses, impeccable communication skills, sound judgment regarding issues of death and dying, and ability to work independently with indirect supervision. Characteristics that Heartland is looking for in a vigil volunteer include: a positive outlook on life, flexibility, empathy, sensitivity to issues around death and dying, compassion, a willingness to help others and ability to work as a member of the hospice team. Reliable transportation is a must!
Heartland Hospice provides service to patients either in their own homes or in facilities throughout Southeastern Wisconsin. If you live in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee or Washington County, or a surrounding area, and would like to provide support to hospice patients in their greatest hour of need, please contact us today. We're waiting to hear from you!