Client Volunteer (CV) Job Description
End of Life Choices Oregon (EOLCOR) is a non-profit organization that works with terminally ill people who are considering end of life options. We are comprised of doctors and regional volunteers who are uniquely trained to provide skilled professional guidance through the Death with Dignity Act (DWDA) and other end of life choices.
Summary of Client Volunteer position
Client Volunteers (CVs) are non-medical volunteers who provide education, advocacy, and personal bedside support to terminally ill people regarding their end of life choices. For those people who meet the DWD qualifications and want to pursue end of life choices, the CVs assist them through the legal process and support them in their decision.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
- Provide support to the client’s family and/or friends throughout the DWD process.
- Respect client and family confidentiality at all times.
- Regardless of whether a Client Volunteer (CV) has medical training, in their role as a volunteer they may not offer medical advice. Any request for medical advice is referred by the client to their physician or hospice.
- Educate clients and families about legal end-of-life options, including the DWD, voluntary stopping eating and drinking (VSED), palliative and hospice care, and stopping of medical treatment.
- Provide nonjudgmental support for the client and their choices for end of life.
- Support client in making choices that are consistent with that person’s personal values.
- If the client wants to pursue DWD, educate them about legal requirements and the process of qualifying for the law and obtaining medications.
- Educate clients and families regarding the benefits of hospice care. Encourage client to enroll in hospice services, if they are not already enrolled. With client’s permission, coordinate with client’s hospice team regarding any wishes or plans expressed by the client.
- For clients pursuing DWD, CVs may need to advocate on behalf of client to find two physicians and a pharmacy that will work with them to fulfill the requirements of the DWD.
- At the option of the client, CVs may be present at a planned death. If CVs do not attend the planned death, one CV should remain available by phone and encourage families to provide time of death to the prescribing physician.
- Prepare medication for self-administration by the client. If CVs do prepare lethal medication for the client, it must be done exactly as directed by the EOLCOR medical director’s instructions.
- Client must self-administer lethal medication by swallowing or initiating the flow of the medication by feeding tube or rectal administration.
- Determine that the client has died at the planned death. If the family wants to have a healthcare professional pronounce the death, they should call hospice or their attending physician.
- Inform the family in advance that the CV normally stays for two hours. In situations where time to death extends beyond 2 hours, they stay closely available by phone.
- Record all visit notes in the database within 24 hours of seeing a client or communicating by any means.
- Contact team leader if there are any unusual circumstances or CV is unsure how to proceed with a client.
- CV should contact the medical director if any situations arise that require the assistance of licensed medical professionals.
- Comfortable talking about death and dying.
- Listen and hear client’s wishes for end of life without judgment.
- Support client in making decisions that are consistent with their own values.
- Comfortable with learning and using the EOLCOR database and necessary technology.
- Thorough knowledge of the DWDA and other legal end-of-life options.
- The ability to advocate for applicable client needs.
- Excellent communication skills to coordinate client wishes with family, hospice or caregivers.
- Empathy and compassion for clients and their families.
- Ability to work as a team member.
- Availability for visits or calls as needed.
- Arrive at meetings and appointments on time.
- Ensure client responsibilities are covered by another CV when absent.
- Maintain professional attire, demeanor, presentation and appearance.
Training and Supervision
- Participate in Volunteer Training.
- Mentor with a seasoned CV, until it is determined that the new volunteer is sufficiently prepared to work with clients on his/her own.
- Attend and participate in monthly CV team meetings.
Varies depending on caseload.
EOLCOR will reimburse volunteers for travel expenses relating to visiting clients, attending trainings, or monthly CV meetings, including mileage, parking, and ferry or bridge tolls. See Section 9 for Reimbursement Form.
Suspension or Termination
Client Volunteers (CVs) may be placed on suspension for up to 90 days at the determination of the Team Leader and Program/Volunteer Coordinator for any violations of policies and procedures or for failing to abide by the parameters of this position description. CVs may be terminated at the determination of the Team Leader and Program/Volunteer Coordinator for any reason, including violations of policies and procedures or for failing to abide by the parameters of this position description.
EOLCOR is a non-profit donor supported (501)(c)(3)
We rely on your donations to provide quality end-of-life services and bedside support