Direct Care Hospice Education

The Direct Care Hospice Education program prepares volunteers to provide direct care to hospice clients and families
in compliance with Maine State regulations

A certificate is awarded when the participant achieves the program outcomes and has completed 20 hours of study which includes the Core Curriculum (11 hours) and the Direct Care Hospice Education module (9 hours)

Children’s Grief [1 hour]
    After viewing a video, discuss ways to help children cope with death, loss and grief
    Identify differences in ways children and adults grieve
Communication Skills [1.5 hours]
    State the difference between a social relationship and a helping relationship
    Demonstrate the best way to listen
    Identify and avoid barriers to helpful communication
    Allow the bereaved to identify and to express feelings related to the loss (such as anger,
        guilt, anxiety, helplessness, sadness)
    Be prepared to respond openly and honestly when children ask questions about dying or death
Ethics [1 hour]
    Respect value systems of the hospice person and family
    Identify and keep personal boundaries
    Maintain confidentiality of hospice person/family information at all times
    Read the Pine Tree Hospice Confidentiality Policy
    Recognize situations in which Mandated Reporting is necessary

Family dynamics [1 hour]
    Identify family dynamics expected to occur during the end of life
    Identify the role of the volunteer when domestic violence is suspected or confirmed

Grief, loss and transition [2 hours]
    Identify the expected stages and the different types of grief, including anticipatory grief
    State physical and psychological symptoms of grief
    Recognize situations that can interfere with grief resolution
    List activities that can help with grief resolution
    Identify ways a volunteer can assist a person or family with grief resolution

Hospice Philosophy [.5 hour]
    Discuss the philosophy and purpose of a volunteer hospice program
    Describe services offered by Pine Tree Hospice
    Become familiar with the Pine Tree Hospice Mission Statement
    Become familiar with the Maine State Regulations governing a volunteer hospice program
    Recognize the relationship of Pine Tree Hospice to the National Hospice and Palliative Care
        Organization, the Maine Hospice Council, and the United Way of Eastern Maine
    Briefly describe the difference between a volunteer hospice and a Medicare hospice
    Discuss issues related to advance care planning and ethical wills

Personal Death Awareness [1 hour]
    Achieve a level of comfort in discussing death

Personnel Issues [.5 hour]
    Describe the Pine Tree Hospice organizational structure
    Read and comply with the Pine Tree Hospice Sexual Abuse Policy, Elder Abuse Policy, and
        Infection Control Policy
    Plan to complete and submit required paperwork to the Pine Tree Hospice office on time
    Read and sign the forms to be filed in the Pine Tree Hospice office

Spirituality [1 hour]
    Define and state the goals of spiritual care
    Identify behaviors to avoid when giving spiritual care
    Discuss how a volunteer can help a hospice person/family to achieve the spiritual goal of faith,
        hope and love
    Discuss ways of praying with a person/family when invited or with permission
    Identify resources in the community that can offer spiritual care

Stress Management: Conventional And Complementary Therapies [1.5 hr]
    Define stress, name some causes of stress, and recognize how stress affects us and those around
        us: body, mind, feelings and spirit
    Discuss balanced nutrition, physical activity, restful sleep, joyful diversion and service to others as
        conventional ways of managing stress
    Briefly discuss the origin, beliefs and current practice of some complementary therapies
    Select and use conventional and complementary therapies for yourself and others to relax, to
        minimize pain, and/or to promote physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing
    Consult the NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine website for current
        information (
    Support people who use complementary therapies


Funeral Arrangements [11/2 hours]
    Become comfortable discussing a list of tasks, such as funeral arrangements, with a hospice
        person and/or family
    Identify funeral services available in the community

Multidisciplinary Management And Hospice Resources [1 hour]
    Identify community resources for hospice and bereaved people and families
    Identify the appropriate resource person when problems arise
    Explain the differences between the work of Pine Tree Hospice volunteers and Community Health
        and Counseling Nurses
    Discuss essentials of group facilitation enabling a hospice volunteer to participate with formal and
        informal grief discussion groups

Pain and symptom management [2 hours]
    Briefly describe health problems commonly experienced at end-of-life (ie COPD, degenerative
        neurological diseases, CHF, sudden cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events, pneumonia,
        systemic infection, kidney failure, liver failure, metastatic cancer)
    Define palliative care
    Use a pain rating scale to assess and document level of pain
    Discuss health problems associated with various chronic Illnesses
    Identify medical interventions in the management of pain and other symptoms that may occur
        during the dying process
    Identify ways a volunteer can assist a person receiving palliative care

Psychological perspectives on death and dying [1 hour]
    Identify psychosocial issues associated with death and grief
    Identify ways a volunteer can assist a person or family dealing with psychosocial issues
    Practice doing a “Life Review” or “Guided Reminiscence” with someone

Support During Stages Of Dying [2 hours]
    Describe the stages of dying
    Discuss ways a volunteer can assist a hospice person/family to cope with the various stages of
    Identify ways a volunteer can assist a hospice person/family meet end of life needs
    Identify the unique nutritional needs of the dying person

Volunteer roles [1 1/2 hours]
    State the responsibilities expected of a hospice volunteer
    Know where to find a copy of the Pine Tree Hospice Policy Manual
    Know what a volunteer should do in the home when death is imminent or has occurred