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Hospital volunteering experiences suggest that new policies are needed to promote their integration in daily care: Findings from a qualitative study



To explore Hospital Volunteers’ (HVs) motivations and experiences, as well as the strategies they adopt to overcome challenging situations during volunteering and the needs they perceive.


Eleven Italian HVs were purposively approached between January and July 2016, using face-to-face semi-structured interviews. The interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using the descriptive phenomenological approach.


Hospital volunteering emerged as a complex experience characterised by five themes: (a) becoming a volunteer; (b) developing skills; (c) experiencing conflicting emotions; (d) overcoming role difficulties by enacting different resources and strategies; and (e) addressing emerging needs.


According to the findings, hospital policies aimed at promoting volunteer integration in daily care are needed and should be based on (a) a shared vision between the hospital and the volunteer associations regarding the HVs’ role and skills; (b) the development of integrated models of care combining different workforces (i.e. professionals and volunteer staff); (c) appropriate training of HVs at baseline; (d) individualised continuous education pathways aimed at supporting HVs both emotionally and in the development of the required skills; and (e) tailored education that is directed to health-care staff aimed at helping them to value the service provided by HVs.

Calendario de la edición:
4 veces al año
Temas de la revista:
Medicine, Clinical Medicine, Hygiene and Environmental Medicine