Healthcare

Includes hospitals and medical centers, hospices, nursing and rehabilitation centers, clinics.

By the American Hospital Association Committee on Volunteers.

, 2003, pp. 51

By Alex Parish, Jane Heath, and Meryem Hassan for the National Center for Volunteering, UK. 

, 2003, pp. 60

By Femida Handy, Robert Mound, Lisa-Marie Vaccaro, and Karin Prochazka, from the Canada Volunteerism Initiative and York University.

, 2004, pp. 38

From the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Focuses on prevention, treatment, and recovery services for substance abuse and mental illness; however, the principles described apply to any field and may help organizations understand how to start and manage a successful volunteer program.

, 2005, pp. 56

"Investing in Australia's Health." From the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.

, 2003, pp. 51
Help the Hospices

UK site with descriptive information about hospice volunteering, from the volunteer's perspective.

Hospice Volunteer Training

Links to resources specifically on hospice volunteering.

Print and e-Books in Our Store

book cover Measuring the Impact of Volunteers
New

Presents the innovative Volunteer Resources Balanced Scorecard measurement and planning tool for aligning volunteer effort with organizational goals and effectively assessing the impact of that effort. 

Book cover

A clear, concise guide on how to communicate with people who are ill.

AHVRP, a professional membership group of the American Hospital Association, is the premier professional membership society for healthcare volunteer services, retail operations and related support services disciplines. List of chapters having Web links.

Site also  has materials about the Committee on Volunteers, a specialty committee of the Board, concerned with the roles, responsibilities, and services of organized volunteers and auxilians, as well as the community perspective they provide for the health care field. 

A membership organisation that exists to support and develop best practice in volunteer management in the National Health Service in the UK, to enhance the experience of patients, carers, the public and staff. 

Refrain from emotional involvement
Submitted by Laura J. King, The Children's Inn at NIH , Bethesda, Marlyand, USA

Supervisors need to advise volunteers to refrain from becoming emotionally involved with the children and their families and also help them learn how to do this. The more the volunteers know about a child's illness the more difficult it is to remain detached. If volunteers get attached and the child dies, the emotional toll can be overwhelming. If the volunteer experiences this repeatedly the result can be burnout or stress. To prevent this we encourage volunteers to enjoy and share "in the moment" when interacting with a child: to focus on the child and the activity they are sharing rather than on the disease; to focus on the present, not the future.

Supervisors also need to limit the amount of time volunteers give, especially when they are new. Taking on too much too soon can also lead to burnout. Supervisors can also help volunteers cope with some of the negative experiences they will have. Family members are under a lot of stress and may be angry, rude, abrupt and insensitive. They may not treat volunteers with kindness and appreciation. Volunteers need to be coached on how to avoid taking this personally and how to give support and comfort to families, too. Finally, supervisors have to be willing to offer emotional support to volunteers when they are having a rough day. Giving volunteers a hug or a pat on the back or listening attentively as them talk through their pain is essential.

Last Updated: December 7, 2016