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Kodiak Island has only one hospice care provider; the volunteer-staffed Hospice and Palliative Care of Kodiak. They’ve been unable to train any new volunteers due to the COVID pandemic, but they’re preparing to hold their first volunteer training event since 2020 in October. The group’s clinical director Sarah Davidson says care has been relatively unaffected during that time – but only because the current roster of volunteers have worked to fill in any gaps over the last two years.
“We also don’t want to burn out our great team of volunteers. And so we’re really hoping to bring in a new crowd of people that can help support the work that they’re doing,” Davidson said.
Davidson says training is short, but intense. 21 hours of classroom time and as many as 12 hours shadowing other volunteers are required before prospective volunteers can start working with patients who need end-of-life or long-term care.
It’s not always an easy job- some volunteers are regularly with patients through the final moments of their lives, and with their families too.
Training for the new class of volunteers is slated to begin October 20th. Those interested in volunteering can reach out to Hospice and Palliative Care of Kodiak directly.