Motivations, Challenges and Rewards
Introduction Hospice volunteers have been credited with bringing a unique human dimension to an otherwise clinical setting and are considered to be core members of interdisciplinary palliative care teams.
This study looks at volunteers who have a mainly patient contact role within the Hospice.
Over 100 000 volunteers are currently within the hospice movement – contributing more than 18 million hours of work to their services each year yet they remain a largely under-researched group.
▶ This study hopes to give this under researched group the opportunity to share their experiences with the Hospice and prospective volunteers
▶ To understand the motivating factors for patient contact volunteers
▶ To explore the experiences of those volunteers
▶ To understand the profile of the volunteers, to aid future recruitment of new volunteers and target training and support.
▶ Qualitative study of the experiences of patient contact volunteers using semi structured interviews
▶ Ethics approval granted from Edge Hill University Ethics committee and the Integrated Hospice Governance Group
▶ Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was used.
▶ 8 semi structured interviews conducted
▶ Volunteers are drawn to hospice work to make a difference
▶ Primary motivation is to discover more about themselves and others
▶ Relatively few negative challenges encountered
▶ Any negatives are cancelled out by the positive benefits gained
▶ Capacity for personal growth is strengthened
▶ Generic knowledge of symptoms would benefit the support they give.
▶ Volunteering is a two way process
▶ The ‘Psychological Contract’ between the Hospice and its volunteers is very healthy
▶ The organisation has good role deployment, shared values and good level's of communication.
▶ Volunteer inductions adapted to meet the training needs of individuals (eg, boundaries of care, consideration of first aid training for drivers)
▶ Development of individual ‘Psychological Contracts’ between the hospice and volunteers.
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