Volunteers are an integral part of the Cardiovascular Health Awareness Program (CHAP). Their role is invaluable and contributes to the success of CHAP in each community. Communities set up CHAP initiatives as collaborations between volunteer groups and health or social service organizations. Many CHAP Volunteers are also participants themselves.
Previous health care experience is not required to become a CHAP Volunteer. CHAP Volunteers are never expected to give medical advice, interpret findings or diagnose medical conditions.
CHAP Volunteers are trained to assist participants to measure their blood pressure (using an automated Blood Pressure measurement device), and to assess their risk for cardiovascular disease by answering standardized questions. All CHAP Volunteer training follows Hypertension Canada recommendations and CHAP Blood Pressure Protocols. Volunteers may link participants with local resources and services around modifiable cardiovascular risk factors.
In addition to CHAP training, each Volunteer will sign a Letter of Understanding which outlines their roles within the CHAP sessions, including their responsibility to keep assessment results for participants confidential. Their training will also include:
- Cardiovascular health overview.
- High blood pressure and hypertension information.
- Modifiable versus non-modifiable risk factors.
- Practical details of the CHAP sessions.
- CHAP Volunteers’ responsibilities.
- Simulated CHAP session situations.