Visiting Nurse Service

Volunteering for Hospice

Visiting Nurse Hospice invites caring people to share their skills and time with us in a variety of ways. The following list provides a sample of opportunities. In addition, we are always looking for new ways to meet the needs of our patients and their families. We encourage you to share an idea of your own.

Opportunities for Direct Care Volunteers

  • Companionship and friendly visitation             
  • Visit patients in hospitals and nursing homes
  • Help with shopping and/or errands
  • Provide respite for caregiver
  • Veteran volunteers who visit Veteran patients and attend We Honor Veterans pinning ceremonies (learn more here)
  • Provide personal care to the patient
  • Support family members
  • Massage Therapy
  • Reiki Therapy
  • Pet Therapy
  • Construct a Memory Album with the patient and family

VNS Hospice provides a comprehensive basic training program, which prepares volunteers to work with patients and their families.

Opportunities for Administrative Volunteers

  • Assemble information packets
  • Assist with fund raising
  • Answer phones
  • File documentation
  • Photocopy materials

Prior to beginning administrative service, volunteers attend an orientation session that includes the philosophy and goals of Visiting Nurse Hospice.

Opportunities for Special Events Volunteers

  • Ceremony of Remembrance
  • Golf Tournament
  • Run for Hospice
  • Opportunities for other Special Events may arise throughout the year

Frequently Asked Questions

What time commitments are required from a hospice volunteer?

  • The time commitment varies from case to case. Most families request 2 hours of care each week, but the duration of time is negotiated between the patient's family and the volunteer.

How long does it take to become a Visiting Nurse Hospice volunteer?

  • The application process takes about 4-6 weeks.
  • Once the volunteer application is received at the VNH volunteer office, it is reviewed and assessed. Reference letters are mailed to the references you have identified on the application.
  • A medical screening must be completed at no cost to the volunteer applicant. The screening will include, Rubella Titer, Rubeola Titer if born after 1/1/57, 2 PPDs (chest x-ray if PPD is positive).
  • We will discuss this process at training.
  • A training/orientation class must be completed by each volunteer applicant.

Can I volunteer just for the summer or winter?

  • Yes. Visiting Nurse Hospice volunteers may decide when to volunteer. You need to inform the Volunteer Coordinator when you will be unavailable.

What tasks can a hospice volunteer perform? A VNH volunteer can:

  • Provide respite care, friendship or transportation for patients and their families
  • Run errands for groceries, prescriptions or supplies
  • Assist with clerical support and with fund raising

What type of training will I receive?

  • Hospice volunteers complete a comprehensive orientation based on the Hospice and Palliative Care Association guidelines. Also included in the training are agency policy and procedures and standards.
  • In-services are regularly offered and cover a wide range of topics chosen by the volunteers.

If any other questions arise, please feel free to contact Lisa Nichols at 585.787.2233, extension 8247, or via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Visiting Nurse Service of Rochester
(585) 787-2233
(800) 724-5727

2180 Empire Boulevard • Webster, NY 14580


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