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Long-term Volunteer Opportunities

Simulated Family Members

Effective communication and empathy are among the most important qualities and skills of any health professional. BIDMC has integrated a course to teach key skills and strategies related to communicating with family members of critically ill patients into the residency curriculum. This course has been highly successful, well received, and has changed the culture of our Intensive Care Units. The success of this course depends on our volunteers, who play the roles of family members of critically ill patients, and participate in debriefing with the residents following simulated family meetings. The ideal volunteer for this position is someone who is enthusiastic to help residents practice communication skills, enjoys acting, can draw from his/her own experience as a patient or family member of a patient, and can be trained to provide kind and constructive feedback. You will work closely with a skilled trainer and with faculty to develop the family member roles and to learn new feedback skills. This course is on Wednesdays, between 8:00-9:00 AM. Because of the time and effort involved in developing the knowledge and skill to participate in this course, we would appreciate a minimum of at least one year time commitment, preferably longer, following completion of the training.

Contact Information

Volunteer Services
Shannon Lawson, Program Coordinator
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Gryzmish 210
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
617-667-3026
sklawson@bidmc.harvard.edu