A NODA Volunteer

Have you ever heard of NODA? It’s an acronym for No One Dies Alone. How did this program come about?

Several years back, a hospital nurse was making her rounds to the patients. Upon entering the room of a very ill elderly man, he begged, “Please don’t leave me. I don’t want to die alone.”

Although her heart filled with compassion for this gentleman, she had to continue her rounds to the other patients and could not stay. However, she promised, “As soon as I’m done, I will come back and sit with you.”

About an hour later the nurse returned to the man’s room, but he had already passed away…while all alone.

This so affected her that she started a NODA program at her hospital, a program which has now spread across our country.

Trained NODA volunteers step in when a patient is believed to have less than seventy-two hours to live, and have no family members or friends to stay by their side. These volunteers also stay with a dying patient while distant-living family members travel to the hospital.

Sometimes the few available family members become exhausted sitting with their dying loved one and need to go home and sleep, or out for a meal. NODA volunteers also help out in these circumstances.

As a trained NODA volunteer for our local hospital, I’ll sit with a patient for two or three hours, then another volunteer comes for the next two or three hour shift. This is done round-the-clock until the patient passes on.

Upon entering the patient’s room we introduce ourselves to the patient, whether they are conscious or not. During our time with the person, we read poems, play calming music CD’s, hold the patient’s hand, or do whatever seems to comfort the person. We are there as a presence, only.

Do the calls for a NODA watch come at convenient times? Usually not…but no one should die while all alone.



About Kathie Mitchell

Kathie enjoys country living, time with family, playing cornet in community bands, crafts, gardening, and writing.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A NODA Volunteer

  1. suemidd48 says:

    Wow. I never knew this existed or that you did this. That is so wonderful all around. I’m going to give this some thought and perhaps volunteer myself. Thanks for the info.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s