Raymond Hino describes a cool program at his hospital called “No One Dies Alone.” You can read the whole article HERE
Here’s an excerpt:
"My wife is a volunteer for a wonderful program at our hospital that ensures our patients receive compassionate care and emotional support at a time when they likely need it the most. I am talking about patients who are terminally ill and experiencing the last days and hours of life.
We adopted the "No One Dies Alone" (NODA) program at our hospital in January of 2011. This program has attracted the support of our nursing staff, our chaplaincy program, our hospice program and our community like no other program we have ever implemented.
The NODA program at my hospital follows the guidelines of the pioneering program of the same name, originated by Sandra Clarke, a registered nurse at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene, Ore., in 2001. As a result of making a promise to stay at the side of a dying patient at her hospital and then not keeping her word, Sandra created an award winning program in palliative care. Each year, more and more hospitals adopt this program.
If you are not familiar with NODA, here is how it works: It is a volunteer program in which volunteers (many of whom are nurses at my hospital) sign up to be on call as a "compassionate companion" whenever we have a patient who has reached their last 72 hours of life and has no family or friends to stay with them. Whenever a patient presents on our nursing floor and meets the criteria of (a) having no family or friends in the immediate area and (b) having a life expectancy between 48 and 72 hours, then the nursing staff may make a call to the nursing supervisor about initiating a NODA vigil. Only the nursing supervisor is empowered to begin a vigil. We call it an "activation."
Beginning a vigil involves the two types of volunteers that are the core of our program. There are vigil coordinators, like my wife, who volunteer to maintain a list of trained volunteers and to make calls to fill each hour at the bedside until the patient expires. Then there are the bedside volunteers or "compassionate companions" who must complete an eight-hour training program and pass a drug screen and a criminal background check. We do not ask volunteers to spend more than two hours at the bedside in any given 24-hour period."