New hospice manual for volunteers released

More than 550,000 individuals give more than 2.5 million hours of service as trained hospice volunteers each year, according to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO).

The newly revised edition of The Hospice Volunteer Program Resource Manual is available to help hospices ensure that their volunteers are well trained and that the program meets the newest Conditions of Participation (CoPs) for hospice providers.

The manual has been updated to reflect the 2008 hospice CoPs and includes fresh ideas on recruitment, retention, training, volunteer manager skills development, and program development. The publication includes a CD-ROM that assists managers in personalizing a volunteer program that meets the specific needs of an organization. Materials that can be adapted include competency checklists, surveys, policies and procedures, visit logs, job descriptions, and training outlines.

To ensure that volunteers remain an integral part of hospice care, it is federally mandated that at least 5% of patient care hours be provided by trained volunteers. Providers must track and document this carefully.

The Hospice Volunteer Program Resource Manual (Item #820114) is available from the NHPCO Marketplace. Go to and select "marketplace" on the left navigational bar to go to the Marketplace home page. Scroll down the page to "4 Easy Ways to Order" to access the link for the downloadable marketplace order form. The manual also may be ordered online at or by phone at (800) 646-6460. The cost is $79.99 plus $8 for shipping for NHPCO members and $118.95 plus $12 for shipping for nonmembers.