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No One Dies Alone (NODA) is a national volunteer-centered program started by Sandra Clarke, CCRN, at PeaceHealth (Eugene, OR) in 2001. Its goal is to provide companionship and support for dying individuals so that no patient dies alone. The program is now a model for compassionate end-of-life programs in hospitals across the country. The program began at Penrose-St. Francis Health Services in July 2009.
NODA trains hospital associates and volunteers to become compassionate companions who offer end of life presence and support to patients who are near the end of life and who have no family or friends at their bedside. Trained volunteers provide 24-hour availability to dying patients who do not wish to be alone. During the vigil, companions may hold the hand of the patient, play soothing music, read to the patient and assist in other comfort care measures. They serve patients in shifts, sitting at the bedside until the patient's death or a family member arrives.The heart of this work is about being rather than doing ... about compassionate presence and heartfelt intention rather than fixing, solving, or answering or resolving issues for others. To be a calming presence and truly compassionate with another requires no small amount of personal and spiritual maturity, as well as a capacity for reflection on the volunteer’s life.
We provide compassionate companionship to the dying who have no family or friends to be with them in their last days, to ensure that they do not die alone.
“No one should die alone…Each human should die with the sight of a loving face”. – Mother Teresa
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