The impact of death on living: A qualitative study of hospice volunteers
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The hospice volunteer is viewed as an integral member of a multidisciplinary team, with various roles directed at enhancing the quality of life of patients and their families. The purpose of this study was to explore the impact that this role has on the lives of hospice volunteers as not much has been written in literature about this specific sub-group of hospice workers. The context of the study was a hospice in Gauteng where the researcher works as a volunteer. The case study was chosen as an appropriate research design. The subject was a hospice volunteer who had been active at the hospice for over six months. Evidence in terms of specific interviews and observations were used to draw conclusions. The interview was based on a minimal number of open-ended questions. The primary method of analysis was the examination of transcripts from in-depth interviews. A thematic analysis was carried out in which a detailed description of the emerging themes were given. Major themes were identified and explored in light of current literature to note the similarities and differences of this specific sub-group of volunteers compared to others. As there is a scarcity of literature pertaining specifically to hospice volunteers, the paper depends mostly on writings pertaining to hospice staff and volunteers in general.
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