Korean J Hosp Palliat Care.  2016 Mar;19(1):45-60. 10.14475/kjhpc.2016.19.1.45.

A Case Study on the Experience of Hospice Volunteers

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Social Welfare, Korea University Graduate School, Sejong, Korea. shimminji@hanmail.net

Abstract

PURPOSE
This study is aimed at understanding the volunteers' experiences and interactions with their corresponding teams during their participation in hospice care. More specifically, the study is to contribute policy-wise to development of hospice care in Korea by helping policy-makers and organizers and managers of hospice care provides better understand the importance of the meaning and roles of volunteers in hospice care.
METHODS
In-depth interviews and participant observation were performed with study participants who were selected from four different types of hospice agencies. Study analysis was conducted using "case study" as one of the rigorous qualitative research methods to develop "inter-" and "intra-" comparisons among the study participants.
RESULTS
Volunteers in hospice care were initially motivated by religion and faith, and the motivation grew stronger through the volunteer experiences. They emphasized that the essence of the hospice volunteering was motivation from religion and faith and something they do for themselves. They characterized their experience as a true service that is offered for free and a job that requires expertise. In addition, they achieved personal (internal) growth by reflecting on the meaning of "good death" and better understood the importance of respecting spiritual diversity.
CONCLUSION
This study could help hospice officials offers better understand hospice volunteers' role and their importance. The study also provide practical implications and policy suggestions.

Keyword

Hospices; Volunteer; Spirituality; Spiritual diversity; Case study
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