Volunteer as an Abortion Doula
What is an Abortion Doula?
Abortion Doulas, formally referred to as Patient Advocates at CHOICES, are committed, compassionate volunteers who provide the valuable service of companionship and support to our patients. Abortion doulas are a specially trained volunteers who provide companionship, support, and compassionate encouragement to patients during the abortion procedure. Specific job duties include holding hands, answering non-medical questions, being there for a patient emotionally and physically before, during, and after the procedure, holding barf bags, and getting water and heating pads. Please note that each patient’s needs are different, so what our Abortion Doulas need to do to provide this compassionate support is different for each patient.
How can I become an Abortion Doula?
Serving as an Abortion Doula requires specialized training and a higher level of commitment than our non-clinical volunteer positions. For this reason, the process of becoming an Abortion Doula is much more involved for our clinical volunteers. Here are the steps required to become an Abortion Doula at CHOICES:
(1) Attend Doula training via the CHOICES Full-Spectrum Radical Doula Collective. This training is required for all new abortion doulas. You can sign up for notifications from the Doula Collective regarding upcoming trainings at www.doulacollective.org.
(2) Complete a CHOICES volunteer application and attend CHOICES volunteer orientation and complete mandatory HIPPA and OSHA trainings. This will occur during the Doula Collective training unless otherwise noted. You will also be required to complete a background check and several mandatory forms include non-disclosure agreements and media consent forms.
(3) You will be required to complete a minimum of 12 hours of observation and supervised service before you can begin serving as a Doula without staff supervision.
What happens after I complete the trainings?
After training, you will be eligible to service as an abortion doula at both CHOICES and Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region. Hilarie Dahlhauser, our clinical volunteer director, and Leah Ford, volunteer coordinator at PPGMR, work together so that you will sign up for monthly shifts for both clinics from one master calendar at the start of each month. At CHOICES, if you miss three doula shifts without giving at least 24 hours notice of your absence, you will no longer be eligible to sign up for shifts at CHOICES.
CHOICES Contact Person for Clinical Volunteers:
Hilarie Dahlhauser, Clinical Volunteer Coordinator and Patient Educator
Office: (901) 274-3550
Hilarie Cell: (731) 442-3614