We usher and welcome human life into this world; thus the same respect and dignity should be shown as a human life is leaving this world. The majority of times that is the experience with loved ones at the bedside of a dying patient. Yet sometimes there is a patient that is all alone with out family or friends to be with them as they are dying.
No One Dies Alone, NODA, is a volunteer program that provides the reassuring presence of a companion to dying patients who would otherwise be alone. With the support of the nursing staff, companions are thus able to help provide patients with that most valuable of human gifts, a dignified death.
Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Healthcare team members, present volunteers, or new volunteers are welcome to participate. Volunteer companions will sign up for days they are available on the secure Internet calendar for the program. A Vigil Coordinator will work with the online calendar to compile a list of companions (shifts maximum of 4 hours each) to provide 24 hour vigil coverage.
No nursing skill is necessary. Companions should be willing to hold the hand of the patient, read to the patient, play music, fluff pillows, and assist in comfort care measures as requested by the patient or directed by the nurse. Even nurses who volunteer for No One Dies Alone will not provide actual nursing care during their shift but will assist only as a companion. Companions are supplied with CD player, CDs, journals, and literature to assist with the vigil.
No One Dies Alone is an award winning program that was founded in November 2001 at Sacred Heart Medical Center by Sandra Clarke, CCRN. Thanks to her vision and the willingness of Sacred Heart Medical Center to share their model with hospitals across the nation.