Caring for the care-giver : a study of the impact on staff of working in a hospice environment

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Cassidy, Annette
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BA Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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The purpose of this study was to examine the impact on staff of working in a Hospice environment. Through the use of a self-evaluative Questionnaire issued to Hospice personnel the author hoped to highlight the correlation between job characteristics and the likelihood of increased stress levels. The author further looked at the principle causes of occupational stress in the Hospice environment. The target group was a Hospice on the North side of Dublin and the questionnaire was issued to all sections. Results showed that the stress did not come from working with terminally ill patients but rather from organisational issues, such as factors not within direct control of the Hospice personnel and relationships with colleagues, which is what the literature reviewed suggested. This is not to deny that working with dying people is potentially difficult, rather it reflects the fact that the greatest stress evolves from external factors that prevent caregivers from being able to perform their professional roles. However, as will be discussed further in this article, there were other issues raised from the Questionnaire such as the need for further training; particularly in the area of counselling skills; job appraisal and recognition for work which merit further research.