Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Health, Human Services and Public Policy


Collaborative Health & Human Services

First Advisor

Stephanie McMurtrie


The Central Coast VNA Visiting Nurse Association provides the highest quality health care to patients through physicians, hospice medical directors, nurses, medical social workers, spiritual care counselors, and volunteers. VNA currently does not have a volunteer program specifically for palliative care patients for their Palliative Care Team. Palliative care is specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and family by addressing physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs (VNA, 2019). 94.9% of patients are referred to VNA because they need support for the patient and family (Central Coast VNA & Hospice Palliative minutes, 2019). Volunteers provide companionship, emotional support, respite for families (Central Coast VNA & Hospice, 2019). The basic needs of a palliative care patient were introduced through shadowing a Medical Social Worker that is in the Palliative Care Team, attending Palliative Interdisciplinary Team meetings, and becoming a palliative care volunteer providing services. A recruitment flyer and presentation were created for new volunteers and a short survey was developed and handed out at the end of the new recruitment in-service. From this experience and knowledge gained a recruitment in-service was successfully implemented. It was found that 100% of in-service participants agreed they would be a palliative care volunteer and help palliative care patients. This project has allowed growth within the agency by adding a new Palliative Care volunteer program to patients and families who need support that they were not receiving prior.