How does it work? According to the ModernMedicine Network, NODA is "a voluntary, unpaid phone-tree program" where volunteers sign up for a week of availability to stay with a dying patient. PeaceHealth, Sacred Heart's corporate organization, created a guide for other institutions interested in hosting similar programs. PeaceHealth requires a "two-hour minimum bedside vigil." Volunteers, or "Compassionate Companions," primarily consist of hospital employees and existing volunteer staff. The companions must go through several safety precautions, including a background check and six months of prior volunteer work at the hospital. NODA helps to relieve the emotional burden of having to leave a dying patient to attend other duties. Compassionate Companion Amanda Pilcher shared her experience with the Modern Medicine Network: "I too was at peace, yet overwhelmed by the life experience taking place. It was truly an honor and privilege to share these final moments with [this man]."
To learn hear more about NODA and learn about humanity's struggle with accepting death, watch the videos below.