Volunteers are special people and we want to ensure you are well-prepared.

I have been a patient care volunteer with Hospice by the Bay (HBTB) for four years. I have volunteered with a few other organizations, and I found the training and ongoing support provided to volunteers by HBTB to be far superior to anything I found elsewhere. The staff is so professional, conscientious and dedicated. The transdisciplinary team approach keeps everyone informed and allows service to patients to be seamless. Working with HBTB has been and will continue to be one of the most rewarding activities of my life.

Training for Patient & Family Support Volunteers

Our Patient and Family Support care volunteers attend a comprehensive, 30-hour training, which includes 20 hours of classroom time and 10 hours of self-paced online training. Below are scheduled dates for the Winter/Spring classroom days. All trainings follow the same agenda. Applicants are encouraged to train at the same site they will volunteer.

Marin County — Spring Training (at our Larkspur headquarters):
Applications due: Apr. 1, 2020
Self-paced online training begins: Apr. 13
Classroom training: May 2, 11, 18
Note: Volunteers especially needed in Novato and Northern Marin County.

San Francisco/San Mateo — Spring Training (at our offices in San Francisco and Larkspur):
Applications due: Feb. 1, 2020
Self-paced online training begins: Feb. 7
Classroom training: Mar. 7 (SF); Mar. 16 (Larkspur); Mar. 28 (SF)
Note: Volunteers especially needed to visit patients in San Mateo County.
Bi-lingual volunteers also needed in Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish, Russian and Tagalog.

Sonoma County/Napa/Solano — Spring Training (at our offices in the City of Sonoma and Larkspur):
Applications due: Jan. 3, 2020
Self-paced online training begins: Jan. 2
Classroom training: Jan. 25 (Sonoma); Feb. 10 (Larkspur); Feb. 22 (Sonoma) — all sessions 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Volunteers especially needed to visit patients in northern or western Sonoma County, or the cities of American Canyon, Napa or Vallejo.

Click here for Patient & Family Support Volunteer Training/Orientation Requirements

Training topics include:
  • Hospice history and philosophy
  • Hospice team and services
  • Volunteer role and boundaries
  • Communication skills with terminally ill patients and their families
  • Disease process, symptom management and the active dying process
  • Psychosocial issues and family dynamics
  • Comfort care, physical assistance training and body mechanics
  • Spiritual issues in hospice work
  • Grief and loss in hospice work
  • If you are assigned to volunteer at a nursing home, residential care facility or hospital, we’ll cover additional topics, including policies and procedures, performance standards, assignment procedures, documentation and personnel forms. A TB skin test is required.
Commitment to Service

We appreciate the dedication and commitment of our Patient and Family Support volunteers. To provide consistent service to them, we ask that volunteers commit to the following:

  • A minimum of one year of regular weekly service
  • Approximately two to four hours per week
  • Attend three to four support meetings or education in-service programs
  • Participate in one annual review (mandatory)

Training for Organizational Support Volunteers
  • Attend a 2 1/2 hour orientation to the agency.
  • Volunteers also receive additional on-site training specific to their task.

Training for By  Bay Camp Volunteers

Details on the By the Bay Camp page.

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