Guest blog by: Ann Causey, Volunteer for Hospice of NGMC
I became interested in becoming a hospice volunteer 4-5 years ago. I had just retired as a nurse and relocated to Hall County. I felt the need to do something as fulfilling as that career had been.
I knew I wanted to help people and bring families together. Hospice immediately came to mind — it was an area I had never worked in, but had always wanted to.
Starting the Process
After talking with a friend and fellow volunteer, I was given the phone number to call the Volunteer Services line at Hospice of Northeast Georgia Medical Center. The volunteer coordinator set up some time to get to know me and asked me what my interests were. I told them I was interested in sitting with patients and getting to know their primary caregivers and loved ones. It was easy to fill out the application, and I was able to see the variety of different ways someone could volunteer. For instance, if someone felt like they might want to cook or sew, quilt or read for a patient, they could easily specify that with the Hospice coordinator. They had me go through a day of training, which made me feel confident and ready to volunteer.
Is It Safe to Volunteer Now?
This past year, Hospice of NGMC has had trouble finding volunteers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but thankfully there are ways to volunteer remotely or in person. While what I do is in person, I have always felt very safe and comfortable due to NGMC’s safety precautions. Hospice of NGMC also provides the option to call patients on Thursdays for a weekly “tuck-in” call from their own home or Hospice office.
It’s All About the Patients and their Families
Hospice of NGMC cares about its patients and families, as well as its volunteers. I have made so many dear friends in the process that I will cherish forever. In the years I have been a volunteer, some of the patients I have seen have been long-term; most have been short-term. But all the patients and their caregivers have touched me in a way that is hard to express in words. Their courage, resilience and endurance in the face of very difficult situations leave me with a sense of hope and, in some instances, joy.
Hospice is a Godsend to families going through the most challenging time–a loved one’s end of life. I feel very privileged to help with this transition in any way, however small.
To fill out a Volunteer application, call 770-219-0276 or visit www.nghs.com/volunteer-opportunities/.
Interested to know more about what all Hospice can offer your loved one?
Hospice of Northeast Georgia Medical Center would be honored to be chosen to walk through this journey with you or your family member.