15 November 2010

Bristol Hospice

Meeting Date: 8/5/10

You can also visit Bristol Hospice on The Exchange, the Thayne Center’s online community partner database. You’ll find contact information, projects, directions to the site, and other useful information to get you started!


Health, Nursing, Social Work


The vision of the volunteer program at Bristol Hospice is to “Leave a Lasting Legacy.” Bristol Hospice’s mission is to provide a bridge in the continuum of care delivery system; focusing on the pain and symptom management related to end-of-life needs. The focus is on providing a family centered approach in the delivery of hospice services throughout our communities.

Patients at a hospice usually only have around six months left to live. In our great-grandparents’ time, birth and death were commonplace in the family home and accepted as natural events. Advancements in medicine have changed the dying experience to one of tests, procedures and hospitalizations, where family members are merely guests and control rests with health professionals. Most people do not want to die in pain alone in hospitals hooked up to machines and cut off from their family and friends and everything that is familiar. They would prefer to be at home, alert and free of pain, and among the people and things they love. Hospice is dedicated to making this happen.


670 E. 3900 S. Ste 210
Murray 84107


VISTAs visited the offices of Bristol Hospice to talk with Esther Peck, the Volunteer Coordinator. VISTAs were deeply moved by the dedication she had to those who are in their later stages of life. Honestly, talking with Esther made me want to volunteer myself! In addition to meeting with Esther, present volunteers were there too to share their experiences, which were truly inspirational.

Esther was an AmeriCorps member and a CNA on and off before she became the Volunteer Coordinator at the hospice. She loves to volunteer and serve her community because of the good it does and the rewarding experience she receives.

Esther Peck


Volunteers are required to complete 12 hours of orientation/training before visiting hospice patients. Included in these hours are CPR certification, background check, drug test, and tuberculosis test.


· CPR certification
· Background Check
· Drug Test
· Tuberculosis test
· Driver’s License
· Car Insurance


Esther prefers that volunteers can visit their patient once each month. Committing for a year is appreciated since the trainings are detailed. Therefore, anyone looking to knock out a few hours of volunteering should probably choose a different option.


By becoming a volunteer at a hospice, you truly become bonded with the patient and their families. You truly begin to love the patient you’re serving. 20% of patients are served in their own homes, and the remainder in nursing homes.

By volunteering at Bristol Hospice, Esthers’ priority is comfort for the volunteer. Therefore, the volunteer won’t do anything that makes him/her uncomfortable. If the patient a volunteer is paired with does not work, Esther will find the volunteer someone who does. Volunteers are not required to be with the patient at his/her death. Patients just really want friends, and volunteers will form a lasting bond.

What volunteers do depends on the patient. Activities include reading, playing cards, grocery shopping, and different outdoor activities with the patient. Sometimes, volunteers keep the patient company while family members do things such as get a haircut or shop, referred to as “respite care.” In addition, volunteers help to support the patient, support the family, and can also participate in administrative duties.

Start volunteering today! You can visit their website and also check out their information in The Exchange.

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