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Care Companion Service

Care Companion volunteers provide patient and family centered care and enhance community satisfaction by offering emotional and educational support in the Critical Care Unit (CCU) at El Camino Hospital. Care Companions have previous backgrounds in nursing, psychology, and/or counseling and are trained to serve as a liaison between patients, their families, and the Critical Care nursing staff. Further information including scope of service, qualifications, and volunteer orientation is listed below.

Scope of Service 

  • Volunteers serve one four-hour shift each month.
  • Assist the admitting nurse in orienting patients and their family members to the CCU, inform them of visiting policies, and communicate the order of events as they occur.
  • Make frequent rounds in the waiting areas and patient areas providing updates regarding status, progress, and reasons for delays.
  • Alert patient’s nurse to concerns, increasing anxiety, or other matters that may require immediate attention.
  • Respond knowledgeably and comfortably to critically ill and dying patients and their families.
  • Assess needs of patients and family members from a variety of cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds.
  • Acquaint and assist patients and family members with Healing Arts resources and other available hospital resources, such as the Health Library.

Qualifications 

• Background in nursing, psychology, and/or counseling required.
• Must be a mature individual with excellent communication skills and able to work independently.
• Must be able to relate tactfully and objectively to patients and families in crisis.
• Must be able to observe confidentiality and maintain healthy boundaries.

Volunteer Orientation and Support

Before entering independent service, the successful applicant will attend a one-day orientation, and will spend a four-hour shift following an experienced Care Companion volunteer.  For more information on the application process or to learn more about the Care Companion service, please call 650-988-7568.