Thursday, May 29, 2008

Nurses’ Perceptions of Hospice-Palliative Care Volunteers

What do you think surveyed nurses' perceptions would be about hospice-palliative care volunteers? The “American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care” reports results of such a survey:

1) Nurses attitudes and what they know about hospice-palliative care volunteers

As a hospice volunteer myself, I have found nurses in general to have positive feelings toward volunteers. Like nursing assistants, many nurses feel volunteers make their jobs easier. Survey results confirm this. However, nurses rated the value of nurses, family members, doctors, and pharmacists significantly higher than volunteers.

Regarding the training of volunteers, 73% of the nurses indicated that they were not sure or did not know what topics were covered, indicating a lack of knowledge about what volunteers are taught.

2) Tasks nurses felt volunteers should perform

The surveys revealed that 53% of the nurses felt that volunteers should know patient medical information, and 77% thought that volunteers should have the opportunity to provide input regarding patient care. In addition, 56% felt that volunteers should be included in team meetings.

Did these results surprise you or did you expect them? You can read more here about this survey on nurses' perceptions of hospice-palliative care volunteers.

Frances Shani Parker, Author
"Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes"
Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog

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