Joanna John

Joanna John

Archidiecezjalny Dom Hospicyjny bł. Jana Pawła II, Katowice



Non-medical forms of assistance for terminally ill cancer patients. Wide-range training for volunteers

During interviews a lot of people ask me, whether people without a medical education can help patients in the terminal stage. It is a common doubt among candidates for volunteers. Despite the wide-range of activities of hospices in Poland, in society there is still low awareness about problems and needs of patients in the terminal stage.

In my project I would like to show the possibilities of helping non-medical volunteers for people in the terminal stage.

Aim / Methods

1. Create a wide-range training programme for non-medical volunteers (Curriculum I) with necessary tools. To create a curriculum I would like to do literature research.
2. Test the programme included in Curriculum I in Training Part of project.
3. Improve the training programme in Curriculum I using:
– the experience achieved during the project,
– feedback from participants in the project,
– focus group created in order to compare training programme in the other hospices in Poland and find best practices in the other countries.

Description of project
The training is divided into modules:
• Module1. Talk with patient:
The object of module 1 is to show how to correctly talk with terminally ill cancer patients. The module contains a lecture in Faculty of Pedagogy and Psychology University of Silesia (theoretical part) and a practical part – voluntary services on a hospice’s ward.
• Module 2. Manual activities for patients:
The object of module 2 is to create a method for art therapy for patients. This module is also connected with module 3 because the handicrafts made by patients will be used in fairs. The method of training will be workshops with the particular method of art.
• Module 3. Voluntary’s services in action:
This module concerned with particular actions, such as taking part in a fair fair etc. People will be training to prepare an action or participate in one. The method will be talking, contains practical knowledge necessary during actions and knowledge about hospices.
• Module 4. Simple cleaning activities:
This module is especially for prisoners, which are joining in the hospice’s life by helping with cleaning. In this module pupils and students can also participate.

Target groups
Module 1
– Students of Faculty of Pedagogy and Psychology University of Silesia
– Volunteers at an in-patient hospice
Module 2, 3, 4
– Volunteers at an in-patient hospice
– People 45+ (people retired or still working, who have a free time [e.g. have an adult child] and internal need to do something valuable

Module 4.
– Prisoners
– Volunteers at an in-patient hospice

The results of project should be creating a training programme for volunteers, which is revised in practice and extends new methods.