Over 200 volunteers fill the important role of talking to and listening to outpatients attending the clinics, as well as working with inpatients admitted to the hospital.
Medical professionals have demanding schedules and are busy prescribing care; often they are not able to take extra time to visit with each patient.
This is where volunteers play an important role -- helping patients find locations and resources in the hospital and in the community, serving as liaisons with counselors and the medical staff, and listening to patients' concerns.
The volunteers are thoroughly trained in sessions offered several times a year. Each volunteer donates two to four hours per week, depending on the requirements of the individual role.
Volunteers provide services in two locations: the Duke Cancer Center and Duke University Hospital.
Volunteers in the outpatient clinics provide conversation and comfort to patients and their family members, offer refreshments, relay useful information and resources, and direct patients to the Self-Image Shop, where they can try on wigs and other self-image products or to the Duke Cancer Center lobbies where they can sit and read or talk.
Volunteers visiting inpatients at Duke University Hospital lend an ear to those people who might live far from Durham and have no friends or family nearby. These volunteers are knowledgeable about support groups and can also provide information about community resources, so visiting family and friends can have time away from the hospital room.
Other volunteers take part in the Solace Care program. This program is designed to serve patients who have no family present or family that needs extra support. Volunteers sit with, read to, play music for, and provide a comforting presence for patients in their final hours and days. Solace Care volunteers go through intensive training before joining the program.
All volunteers receive training that covers the particular area in which they plan to serve. The workshops provide information on Duke University Health System resources, community resources, and various ways volunteers can help patients feel comfortable.
Contact the DCPSP office to schedule an interview. During your interview, you will be provided with an application. You will then complete and submit the application and health screening before attending a volunteer training.
Immunizations are required and are provided by DUMC for rubella (for all volunteers) and measles and mumps (for volunteers born after 1/1/57).
Once you've been selected as a volunteer, you'll need to:
For more information about becoming a Duke Cancer Patient Support Program volunteer, please contact Phillip Shoe, the DCPSP volunteer services coordinator, at 919-684-3651 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.