The Core Program’s curriculum and learning model is primarily experiential. Thus Participants are expected to spend on average four (4) hours per week throughout the Program actually companioning one or more dying persons at a facility or organization of their choice.
Participants are expected to have arranged for their own placement at a companioning site by the beginning of the Program or soon thereafter. If a Participant needs assistance in identifying a place to companion, the Program Directors can assist in identifying possible sites where the Participant might serve as a volunteer or “friendly visitor” through our network of hospices, hospitals, and similar facilities with whom we have established contacts. It is the responsibility of the Participant to initiate contact and apply for placement with the companioning site.
Participants may be expected by the placement organization or facility where they volunteer as companions to undergo background checks and attend separate mandatory orientation and training given by that organization; this training is in addition to the time commitment required by the Program.
Participants who are already working in a hospice, acute-or sub-acute care facility, or similar organization, may simply choose to continue seeing patients in their normal course of work. However such persons might choose to perform their companioning in other settings in order to deepen their experience in serving dying patients, especially if their normal patient population does not include many who are at end of life.
Optionally a participant may also perform their companioning in a home, including their own, companioning a friend or family member who is at end of life. If this is the case the Participant should discuss this option with the Program Directors before beginning the Program.
Lastly on an exception basis where companioning another person is either not practical or possible, a Participant may be permitted to fulfill the companioning component through prayerful attention to their own mortality. This exception must be discussed with and approved in advance by the Program Directors.