Volunteering with Hospice of New Mexico may be one of the most fulfilling things you ever do.

Hospice of New Mexico places a great value on our volunteers. We couldn’t do our work without them! Our volunteers play a very special role in the care of our patients, specifically because they are not in a medical role and because they choose to be there and give of themselves.  Call us at 505-872-2300 or email us at volunteer@hospiceofnewmexico.com

Whether you wish to visit patients, share a special talent, or support a program that interests you, we have a variety of volunteer opportunities from which to choose. Volunteers are treasured members of the hospice team.

FAQ’s about volunteering with Hospice of New Mexico

What are good characteristics for a hospice volunteer?

Presence: Because words are so inadequate or incomplete, there are no words that can take a person’s pain or distress away. We say so much of what we mean through our nonverbal communication (65-90%). Perhaps the greatest gift that we give another person is to be with them, to stand with them in difficult times.

Ability to Listen/Empathy: Few of us have enough people who will listen to us in an open, non-critical way. In difficult times, there is a great need to talk about one’s experience, to review the details, to tell one’s story. Most people listen with the goal of giving answers or advice. The pure yet difficult gift of genuinely listening allows the person speaking to see and understand his experience in an expanded way. People feel understood and comforted when we try to empathize and enter into their world. When we try to understand what it might be like to be in the other person’s place, it can diminish his or her feelings of distress or isolation.

Life Experience/Maturity: We are the product of our own experiences and of our reactions to them. Our experiences, both positive and difficult, teach us about the world and other people. Maturity is the ability to integrate and use those experiences in a way that not only increases our understanding, but also enhances our personal power and our compassion.

Comfort: When we are in the midst of a difficult time, it is helpful to be around people who are comfortable with emotions and with their role as a helping person. Most of all, we appreciate people who are comfortable with themselves, who try to live with the reality of human and life limitations, and who are able to offer comfort to others.

Interpersonal Skills: There is a way of being with others that gives them the impression that they matter, and that you have nothing else to do at that moment. The better ways of responding to people in difficult times involve using our best communication skills to honor the person’s responses and abilities. Trust is an essential ingredient in relationships because it conveys belief in the person, and in his or her eventual ability to cope.

Caring/Concern: Like love, caring is a small word that attempts to convey a large experience. Caring involves warmth and acceptance of another person that is expressed in the relationship. There is a sense of kindness, gentleness, and concern for the well being of another that comforts and sustains us in difficult and good times. We offer and receive caring in personal relationships and in our larger human community, out of our understanding that what happens to another person matters.

Compassion: The ability to sit with and fully acknowledge the experience of a person in a painful time is a remarkable capacity that is born out of a personal

understanding of our own struggles and of the human condition. Compassion is the most profound level of human caring.

Patience: We all struggle to cope with difficult times in our own ways, and in our own time. And for everyone, difficult times seem too slow, or too long. Coping with major changes involves an ongoing series of adaptations, and is a process that takes significant energy and time. People know when we feel that they are not moving quickly enough. Relationships where there is a commitment to journey with a person through difficult times are both necessary and invaluable.

Sensitivity: In responding to others in times of their need, we often try to offer traditional wisdoms, or clichés that we have heard before. It is important not to say things that only comfort us, and might create distress for the other person. Sensitivity also means being aware of cues that will allow us to anticipate the needs of the person.

Courage: The strength to face our own difficulties and those of people we care about is not an inborn trait. We are not born brave; it is a quality we develop when we creatively enter into the full range of human experience. We choose to face our difficulties and to be present with others in theirs because we are asked to, because it is needed or required of us in the situation. Courage is an act of generosity of the spirit for ourselves and for those that we care about.

Taken from Lattanzi-Licht (1998) criteria list for hospice volunteers.

What is does the job description look life for a hospice volunteer?

Hospice of New Mexico

Volunteer Job Description

Organizational Relationship:

A member of the hospice volunteer program works under the direction of the volunteer manager in conjunction with the nurse, case manager and/or other disciplines, such as social worker, pastoral/counselor.

Purpose of Position:

Responsible for providing non-medical support services as needed to the home care patient and family member on a volunteer basis. The volunteer may also perform administrative duties in the office at times.

Basic Qualifications:

  • Must be 18 (eighteen) years of age or older. May perform administration duties at 14 (fourteen) years of age or older.
  • Has completed application, screening interview, volunteer orientation and training, health screen, and concluding interview.
  • Has realistic goals for his/her involvement in the hospice program.
  • Has evidenced his/her goals are compatible with the goals and needs of our hospice program.
  • Gives evidence of commitment to hospice.
  • Attends educational in-services when provided.
  • Verbalizes willingness to work as a member of a team.
  • Respects patient/family belief systems.
  • Agrees to follow rules of confidentiality.
  • Is reliable and punctual.

Performance Responsibilities:

  • Agrees to a minimum of an average of four (4) hours a month to fulfill the function assigned to, whether it is patient/family care, office support, or other duties requested and agreed to by volunteer and the volunteer coordinator.
  • Attends support meetings and continuing educational in-services when provided.
  • Provides needed services to patient/families (example: companionship, shopping, respite for caregiver, preparing light meals, occasional light housekeeping when appropriate and agreeable to volunteer.)
  • Maintains open communication with other team members (including the volunteer coordinator), reporting events or changes of concern to nurse case manager when necessary.
  • Uses listening skills effectively to provide emotional support to the patient/family.
  • Records accurate, timely and objective documentation on each volunteer activity.

Procedures for Correction

    • In the rare event that a concern arises regarding what may be deemed as inappropriate behavior by a volunteer, the following steps will be taken:

1. The Volunteer Coordinator will call the volunteer regarding

the issue and re-educate when appropriate.

2. In the event that the issue arises again, a second call will be

made to further address it.

3. If the issue continues beyond the second call the Volunteer

Coordinator will arrange a face to face meeting and the

volunteer will be dismissed from service with Hospice of

New Mexico.

Would you like to be a volunteer with Hospice of New Mexico?

Submit a volunteer application