All volunteers receive training to ensure they feel comfortable with their tasks. Training programs vary in length and generally cover the following areas:
- Philosophy of hospice care.
- A comprehensive overview of services offered by the hospice.
- Physical, emotional, social and spiritual issues that people can encounter at the end of life.
- Individual needs, including emotional support, emergency procedures, universal precautions and procedures to follow after the hospice patient dies.
- An overview of chronic and life-limiting illnesses.
- Effective communication skills when speaking with the patient and family members.
- Information about interpersonal family issues and relationships.
- Boundaries for the hospice volunteer and the patient and family.
- Basic information about grief and loss.