I recently attended a one day workshop sponsored by Mary Washington Healthcare and other Virginia parent hospice organizations. Heart of the Journey is a biennial affair that is open to all hospice volunteers in Virginia. Approximately 125 volunteers were in attendance this year from around the state. The goal of the workshop is to further equip volunteers in their effort to care for their patients and patient families by having healthcare professionals present practical and helpful information that can be used by volunteers when performing their work in facilities and homes. It is wonderful to interact with experienced professionals about quality methods to better care for those at end of life. It is also uplifting to be with so many experienced volunteers. The winner of the door prize for having served the longest as a volunteer went to an elderly lady who has been doing hospice volunteer work for 29 years. Amazing.
We began at 8 in the morning and finished in the afternoon around 3:30. We enjoyed a keynote speaker and presentation, four workshop sessions, a lunch break midday, and a closing plenary session. It was a packed and busy day. I met up with my supervisor and with a co-volunteer, Amanda. Amanda and I trained and tested together. I hadn’t seen her since we took patients so it was fun and interesting to hear how things are going for her. Amanda aspires to become a hospice chaplain someday.
I enrolled in four workshops:
1. Vigil Volunteering: A Gift at the End of Life’s Journey
2. The Things That Matter Most
3. The Spiritual Journey of a Hospice Volunteer
4. How to Make Your Volunteer Visits More Meaningful