Article Text

Download PDFPDF

P-259 The educational needs of professional hospice staff: an ethnographic inquiry
  1. Andrea Mason1,2
  1. 1Alberta Health Services, Calgary, Canada
  2. 2University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada


Problem Seniors are estimated at 25% of the Canadian population by the year 2036 (Alberta Health Services, 2014). Of those, 22% will have a diagnosis of cancer yearly (Canadian Cancer Society’s Advisory Committee on Cancer, 2015). In Alberta by the year 2030, there will be 27 640 cases of cancer, with 25% requiring hospice care. These cancer cases comprise 85% of the hospice care in Alberta (Alberta Health Services, 2014). Several non-oncological diagnoses also require hospice care in Alberta (CSPCP, 2016). Inconsistent hospice staff knowledge has additionally become a concern for hospice care provincially (Alberta Health Services, 2014). No studies assessing the educational needs of Calgary hospice staff were found in a literature search. Also, international hospice nurses identified knowledge deficits in pain and symptom management, psychological, and spiritual care and communication with dying patients (Kehl, 2014; Ly Thuy, Yates, & Osborne, 2014; Murray, Fiset & O’Connor, 2004).

Purpose Determining ways hospice culture shapes the educational needs of professional staff. This knowledge provides information for staff education, promotes evidence-informed practice and improves hospice resident care.

Scope The study includes staff at a Calgary Catholic facility. This new site has been open for approximately two years at the time of the study. The hospice residents include those individuals with a life-limiting illness and a prognosis of approximately a few months.

Research design Qualitative, focused, interpretive ethnography.

Data sources The data includes interviews with nine hospice staff members, the shadowing of those staff members, and field observations of the site culture focusing on staff educational needs. Data also includes; field notes, documents, and cultural artefacts.

Methodology The study design includes the researcher’s interpretation of the hospice culture within the focused domain of staff educational needs. Data from the interviews, site observations and field notes are coded and analysed. This data reveals hospice cultural themes for analysis.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.