Hospice: Celebrate Volunteer Week 2012

Hospice Volunteers Make a Difference.

By Presidential Proclamation this week is National Volunteer Week!  Might I say, what a wonderful thing to celebrate! 

I have a tremendous amount of admiration and love for volunteers. So many of the volunteers that give of their time, and hearts, have previously been touched by homecare. Particularly in hospice.  As you all know Hospices have a requirement to ensure that they have community support in the way of volunteers as outlined in the COPs.

For the work that they do, the time that they give, the support that they offer… We celebrate volunteers.

Last week on our Facebook Timeline I posted statistics about volunteers. To restate some of the extraordinary statistics

  • In 2010 (our latest statistical year) 458,000 volunteers provided more than 21 million hours of service.
  • During the same period, approximately 5.2% of all clinical staffing hours were provided by volunteers.

Community participation can often set one organization apart from others.  It does so by having folks understand the programs and assistance that agencies can provide.  It’s great when you can share your own message, but it’s even better when someone else can do it for you.

A few ideas to let your volunteers know how much you appreciate them:

  • Do you track volunteer time in your hospice software? If so, generate a report and identify the top 15-20% of your volunteers. Thank them often for all they do to help your agency.
  • Host a get together for your volunteers. It doesn’t need to be big and fancy.  Ask folks in the agency to bake some cookies, cakes, etc. Host a “pot luck” thank you treat hour.
  • As part of the “treat hour” or another event recognize the individuals who volunteered more than “X” number of hours. If you have some money in your budget, get some t-shirts and make thank you shirts for them. Maybe have folks in the agency sign the shirts with fabric markers.  Or use iron on sheets and print out something that you can imprint on the shirts.

More than anything offer gratitude that come from the heart. We wouldn’t be where we are today, as a homecare community, without the help and support of volunteers.

Share your ideas on how you show your appreciation of your volunteers! We’d love to hear them!

Tracking volunteer time is as important as clinical productivity. Contact HEALTHCAREfirst today to learn more about our solutions and how we handle productivity tracking in firstHOMECARE and firstHOSPICE.