Death doula training opens the door for a truly meaningful career. On this path, you can provide guidance and support for people who are dying and their families. You will go beyond the services offered by hospice and other end of life caregivers, acting as a beacon of strength through every moment.
With the level of trust put into death doulas, you cannot just jump into the field and hope for the best. You must build your skillset and create a name for yourself to stand out as a leading provider of dedicated end of life care services — and we are here to help.
To help you move through this process with confidence, we’ve created this informative guide on how to become a death doula. Through our Death Doula Certificate Course Online, we also offer all the training you need to jumpstart your career. But first, here’s how to proceed.
Understand What is a Death Doula — and What Do They Do
As the end of life approaches, both patients and their families can greatly benefit from having a dedicated support professional available to assist through every stage of the process. As a death doula, you would fulfill that role, offering your support before, during, and after the patient’s death.
Services commonly provided by end of life doulas includes:
Depending on the patient’s and family’s needs, you would provide these services from the hospital, hospice center, or home hospice. You will likely need to fluidly move between these work environments, amongst others, to best serve the needs of your clients.
Although it is possible to get into this role as a volunteer only, a comprehensive training program allows you to pursue this path as a career. Death doula salary stats will put you at around $50,000 a year, though reason to join this career path transcends money alone. You will help people transition comfortably from life to death while acting as a pillar of support for their family members. The peace you bring your patients and families can provide true meaning to your everyday when you enter this field.
Complete a Comprehensive Death Doula Training Course
Death doula certification programs give you an opportunity to build your skills and prepare for a career in this demanding field. A well-designed course walks you through every aspect of becoming a death doula and excelling in your career.
You will build a strong skillset that enables you to be an excellent source of support for all your clients and their family members. As you learn from end of life experts, you will become comfortable helping people understand death and feel at peace as they navigate this transition.
Well-designed end of life doula certification programs also help you build your skills in running and marketing your business. If you choose to go that route, you will have all the knowledge you need to set competitive rates, receive free publicity, and find clients in your area. As an alternative, your studies will lead you through the process of seeking employment with your preferred organizations as well.
While completing the training program, you will also develop a comforting presence that gives your clients and their families true peace of mind. You will learn how to step into this role with confidence to the benefit of both you and your clients. So, don’t skip this important step, as it is vital to building a solid career in this field.
Seek Volunteer Opportunities to Gain Experience
While completing the death doula certification program, your instructors will introduce you to the wide world of volunteer work and all its amazing benefits. When you commit to volunteering as a death doula, you can gain real-life work experience. You will strengthen your skills along the way, becoming more comfortable with handling all the different aspects of death and dying.
Outside of the death doula training program, you can seek out your own volunteer opportunities as well. To find these opportunities, you can check with local:
You will need to reach out to each end of life care center individually to learn about the requirements for their volunteer programs. Then, sign up to see how you can help.
Through your volunteer work, you will contribute to your local community in a meaningful way. You can lend your expertise to those who cannot acquire your services otherwise, giving them true comfort and peace of mind. As you stay by their side, your compassionate support will assist them in easing through this necessary, but oft-overwhelming, process.
Join a Mentorship Program and Build Your Network
Before you can excel in your career as an end of life doula, you have to make the effort to create a strong professional network. You can accomplish this goal by joining a mentorship program through local and international end of life care associations.
By partnering with an experienced mentor, you can take a first-hand look at the industry and learn what it takes to excel in this realm. You can also tap into your mentor’s network of industry professionals to meet new faces and gain helpful industry connections.
As you gain experience, you can give back to your preferred mentorship program by becoming a mentor. You can then help other people pursue the end of life doula career path and make a difference in their own communities.
Assess Your Career Goals to Find the Right Role
As an end of life caregiver, you can choose to run your own business or work for your preferred organization. Either way, you will learn what it takes to excel in each career path while enrolled in a death doula certification program.
If you decide to seek permanent employment, you can apply at hospitals, hospice centers, and all other entities that hire volunteers. To best meet the needs of their clients, they tend to have a combination of full-time staff and volunteers on hand to help out. If you have a history volunteering there, you will likely have a much easier time securing your position of choice. In fact, many people work as a volunteer until they can secure a spot at their preferred organization.
With this career path, you also have the choice to work for yourself. In running your own business, you can choose who to work for and how to operate without compromise. From finding clients to collecting payment, you have to complete every last task on your own to keep your company in good health. As you watch your business grow, you might find it well worth the time and effort, however.
Effectively Market Your Services to Find Clients
Unless you are working as a full or part-time employee, you will have to market your services to find clients. Otherwise, you will not have any income coming in nor have a chance to make a positive impact on your community. Thankfully, you can easily use the following marketing techniques to help clients find your business when they need your support most.
Digital Marketing Tactics
To advertise your business effectively in this fast-paced world, you need to have a website filled with helpful and supportive content. Your site should speak to your expertise and help people understand how your support can benefit them through this difficult time. Always aim to keep your site updated with new keyword-infused content, including blog posts, to help people find you through search.
Once you have your website set up, and an update schedule established, you can turn your focus to other digital marketing methods, including:
Pick several areas to focus on to create a dynamic digital marketing mix. Your diligence will help attract the attention of prospective clients, helping them find the end of life care and support they need.
Traditional Ways to Find Clients
Despite the popularity of the digital world, traditional marketing methods still have their place in the mix. Print, broadcast, and referral marketing tactics can all quickly drive clients your way.
You can kick off your marketing plan by making flyers, brochures, and business cards and hand them out to the many end of life care facilities in your area. While crafting your print materials, always aim to educate and support those entering this difficult stage of life. Use compassionate language that helps people understand what to expect and how to move forward through this process.
Through broadcast marketing, you can start to help people understand what a death doula is and how they can benefit from their help. Many people are not aware of their ability to bring in extra support through the process of dying. They may feel home hospice with family alone or at a nursing home with the support of staff is their only options. By educating people on their options, you can help your community and drive business your way.
Of course, referral marketing also tends to kick in as you build a positive reputation for your business. After receiving your services, your client’s family members might feel inspired to refer you to others who might benefit from your support.
Digital and traditional marketing methods can work together to advertise your end of life doula services to local clients. You do not have to try everything at once, however. Simply add one marketing channel at a time and test how well it helps you before moving onto the next, if needed.
Jumpstart Your Career with Death Doula Training
Although you now know how to become a death doula, you cannot jump in and achieve great success without the foundational skills and knowledge required for this career path. So, if you want to get started, it is time to complete death doula training through IAP Career College.
Our six-week Death Doula Certificate Course Online will prepare you to handle death and all that comes with it. You will learn how to become a compassionate and supportive presence for your clients — and grow your business. The next course starts soon, so sign up today to jumpstart your career.